Strand 8

Slides 7
Strand 7
25th August 2021
Slides 9
Strand 9
25th August 2021

Learning outcomes


  • Know about supportive language learning strategies
  • Know about memory language learning strategies


  • Be able to link strategies to amazing learning experiences
  • Be able to support learners with powerful learner-led strategies


  • Develop the use of substitution tables in the classroom


Strand Overview

8a. Is there provision for ongoing accessible guided and free voluntary reading? Within early years, is there interactive, shared book reading as well a story-telling (both adult and children story-telling).
8b. Are there continued opportunities for curriculum-related extended, creative writing based on initial scaffolding? Within early years, are there assessable mark-making materials throughout the provision?
8c. Are there ongoing opportunities for role-play, drama and other collaborative speaking and listening activities? Within early years, is there a home corner area and active, meaningful, dramatic play outdoors that are both used as a meaningful context in which to model, scaffold and extend vocabulary and language structures.
8d. Is there ongoing use of strategies that are effective at supporting learners in taking ownership of their language learning and teachers and parents in supporting language learning? Within early years, are adults modelling being a thinker about their language learning e.g. looking at an image for meaning or having the confidence to have a go at saying the word even if they don’t know it.
8e. Is there ongoing use of language learning strategies that are effective at supporting groups of learners in furthering their language development?
Within early years, is the adult is an active partner in utilizing effective language learning strategies? E.g modelling language structures, scaffolding children’s attempt to communication, listening to children attempt to engage and responding to their needs.


  • You will need 25 small, random objects for a memory activity.
  • Stick the 14 characteristics of a good language learner around the room (find these characteristics in the Portal).
  • ‘Activities for introducing and practising vocabulary using flashcards’  (Activity 8.6).
  • Sets of the same flashcards, e.g. pictures of transport. 
  • The participants work in pairs to match the titles of the ‘Activities for introducing and practising high-frequency words’ to the details. Refer to the Shared document.


Slide 2 – Effective language learning strategies

Ask participants:

Think about useful memory strategies participants use for effective language learning.

Share the quote.


Slide 3 – Memory language learning strategies

Below is a summary of strategies that can help learners remember words:

  • “Use rhyming”.
  • “Use alliteration”. Items that start with the same letter will be easier to remember.
  • “Associate words with their physical world”: associate them with mental images relating to their size, smell or colour.
  • “Associate words with their functions”, e.g. household, work or verbs.
  • “Use natural word associations, such as opposites”, e.g. black-white, Mum-Dad.
  • “Learn classes of words”, e.g. fruits, animals.
  • “Learn related words.” Often, words come with common roots or common endings, e.g. afterwards, afternoon, aftermath (see grouping template).
  • “Group words by grammatical class”, e.g. adjective, preposition or pronoun (see grouping template).
  • “Associate words with context”: thinking back to the time a word was used can help the learner to remember the word.

Resource requirements: You will need 25 small, random objects for a memory activity.

Activity 8.1. Ask the participants:

If I were to show you 25 random objects to remember in 2 minutes, what strategy would you select to remember them?

Each person should choose a strategy and share it with their partner.

Show a group of 25 objects that are easily covered or hidden and provide participants with 2 minutes to remember them using their selected strategy. They can make notes if they choose.

After 2 minutes, cover the objects and ask the participants to hide their notes and recall all the objects using their selected strategy.


Can I have a show of hands of anyone who remembered more than 10… more than 15… more than 20?

Choose 2-3 participants who remembered the most objects to share their selected strategies for remembering the objects.

Ask the participants if anyone had to change their strategy to achieve greater success.


  • Learners need to be aware of different types of language learning strategies and their impact on each learner’s success.
  • Learners need to try different language learning strategies and select the ones which work well for them.
  • Teachers and parents need to be aware of different kinds of language learning strategies, and the types their children are choosing, so they can offer support and encourage their use.


Slide 4 – Strategic self-regulated learning

Read the quote and ask participants to discuss it.


”Strategic’ describes the way in which these [self-reguated] learners approach challenging tasks and problems by choosing from a repertoire of tactics those they believe best suited to the situation, and applying those tactics appropriately.’  (Winnie & Perry, 2000 in Oxford, 2011) 

 ‘A key for such learners [those participating in research on strategically self-regulated learners] is choosing appropriate strategies for the purpose and situation and evaluating the success of these strategies.’

Oxford, R (2011), Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies, Applied Linguistics in Action, Routledge


Slide 5 – Meta strategies for general management and control

Highlight meta strategies, meta-affective strategies and meta sociocultural interactive strategies. They are not in order of importance. Consider the teacher as a facilitator supporting learner choices to engage them in metacognitive choices.  

These meta strategies help the learner control the strategies below:

Cognitive Strategies help the learner construct, transform, and apply L2 knowledge

  1. Using the Senses to Understand and Remember
  2. Activating Knowledge
  3. Reasoning
  4. Conceptualising with Details (including analysing, comparing, etc.)
  5. Conceptualising Broadly (including synthesising, summarising, etc.)
  6. Going Beyond the Immediate Data (including guessing, predicting, etc.)

Affective Strategies help the learner create positive emotions and attitudes and stay motivated

  1. Activating Supportive Emotions, Beliefs, and Attitudes
  2. Generating and Maintaining Motivation

Sociocultural-Interactive (SI) Strategies help the learner interact to learn and communicate (despite knowledge gaps) and deal well with culture

  1. Interacting to Learn and Communicate
  2. Overcoming Knowledge Gaps in Communicating
  3. Dealing with Sociocultural Contexts and Identities

Oxford, R (2011), Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies, Applied Linguistics in Action, Routledge


Slide 6 – Consider both


We can divide language learning strategies into teacher-supported and learner-led. 

We can aim for the learner to apply self-regulated L2 learning strategies which…

o   Are employed consciously, involving four elements of consciousness (awareness, attention, intention, and effort, Schmidt, 1995);

o   Make learning easier, faster, more enjoyable, and more effective;

o   Are manifested through specific tactics in different contexts and for different purposes;

o   Reflect the whole, multidimensional learner, not just the learner’s cognitive or metacognitive aspects;

o   Are often combined into strategy chains, i.e., groups of strategies working together (see later in this chapter); and

o   Are applied in a given situation but can be transferred to other situations when relevant.

Oxford, R (2011), Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies, Applied Linguistics in Action, Routledge


Slide 7 – Powerful teacher-supported strategies


We have already covered substitution tables and some uses of graphic organisers and dictogloss. Other versions of dictogloss can be helpful too. Let’s look at a range of  teacher-supported strategies as well as a recap of some key strategies.


Slide 8 – 1. Substitution tables

Review the first activity from strands 5 and 6 on creating substitution tables.  


Slide 9 – Don’t forget

Highlight the comment on the slide and the importance of providing language learning alongside content.


Slide 10 – 2. Graphic organisers

Review the further learning from strands 5 and 6 on graphic organisers to structure text.  


Slide 11 – 3. Dictogloss

Review the dictogloss in Strand 1 or create your own other way to deliver a dictogloss illustrating the point on the slide.

Activity 8.2 – Remember:

  • The teacher reads a text.
  • During the first hearing, the learners listen without making any notes.
  • During the second hearing, learners are allowed to make notes/write down as much as they can.
  • In pairs, the learners then discuss their notes and try to form a correct and shared version of what was read.
  • The original can then be reread and learners compare their attempts to the original.


Slide 12 – 4. Running dictation

Activity 8.3 – A running dictation is an exceptionally good way to practise speaking, listening, reading and writing:

  1. The teacher reads a text.
  2. During the first hearing, the learners listen without making any notes.
  3. During the second hearing, learners are allowed to make notes/write down as much as they can.
  4. In pairs, the learners discuss their notes and try to form a correct and shared version of what was read.
  5. The original can then be reread and the learners compare their attempts.

Stick the 14 characteristics of a good language learner around the room (find these characteristics at the back of this manual). Follow the instructions on the slide. Participants will have to use their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills to complete their running dictation.

The purpose of the activity is twofold: to learn a new type of dictogloss; and to consider some of the characteristics one might adopt to be an effective language learner.

The answers appear on the next slide.


Slide 13 – Characteristics to help you with your language learning

It’s important to note:

Language learning strategies that work for one student may not work for another, so adapting to individual needs is essential.

Rubin & Thompson (1994), also referenced in the Participants’ Handbook reading for Strand 8, expand on the kinds of language learning strategies that have been used by others. They encompass:

  • vocabulary language learning strategies
  • memory language learning strategies
  • grammar language learning strategies
  • listening, speaking, reading and writing language learning strategies

Refer to p309-343.


Slide 14 – 5. Barrier games

Activity 8.4 – Provide a picture of the burgled house (available on the Portal).

Note that:

In class, you would pre-teach the vocabulary and then model the use of it with the language structure presented on the slide. In this activity, we can assume this language has been pre-taught.


The homeowner is on holiday and the neighbour walks past their house and sees the door open. They wander in, concerned about what’s happened, and find the house has been burgled! They make a call to their neighbour from their mobile and describe what they see.

Participants divide themselves into A (homeowners) and B (neighbours). The homeowners try to elicit what is missing from the house by asking the neighbour, using the modelled language structures.

A note about barrier games:

Barrier games require the giving and receiving of information across a barrier that prevents the view of the full work under discussion. These barrier games are not only useful in small group sessions, but, with adequate differentiation, can form a great tool for use with learners of every level of English proficiency.


Slide 15 – 6. Split dictation

Activity 8.5 – use the Shared document. Person A reads ‘Split Dictation 1’ and person B reads ‘Split dictation 2’.


Slide 16 – 7. Speaking and writing frames

Activity 8.6 use the Shared document. Person A reads the text and everyone chooses what goes in the gaps.


Slide 17 – 8. Vocabulary lists

Ask participants:

  • Where do learners in their class have consistent access to groups of words?
  • Have they been introduced to these words? Can they use what they see?

Providing – or even better, collecting – groups of known words for learners to use can help EAL learners form sentences quickly and easily.

Try using the page titled ‘Structuring a simple sentence’ in Activity 8.7.

Ask participants to make a sentence with the following pattern:

Subject  + Verb + Adverb +  Preposition + Article + Adjective + Noun + Connective… and repeat

(Time guide: 5 minutes)

Give the following example to participants:

The prince crept carefully into the castle to ….
Article + proper noun + verb + adverb +preposition + article + noun + preposition…This example could be used to write sentence openers to a story.

  • Can you write your own story starter from this structure?
  • Can you create your own structure for a story starter?

Note that there are many different arrangements. It’s a guide and not a rule.

EAL word mats are available from These word mats are designed to be used in the classroom as a helpful support for constructing sentences.


Slide 9 – 9. Reading

Highlight the importance of guided reading, reading aloud and free voluntary reading as tools for supporting progression in learning.


Slide 10 – 10. Writing

Highlight the importance of extended/creative writing. 

We do not want our new learners of English to write in short, uncreative and uninteresting (yet structured) sentences.

For example: My name is Sandra. I am 12 years old. I like chips.

Allowing learners to write freely will inevitably lead to a desire to develop what they would like to say, thus fostering creativity.


Slide 11 – What more can teachers do to help?

Mention ways to communicate effectively.

Participants can highlight other useful strategies (refer to ‘Further learning – using support language learning strategies’ ).

Add any ideas to the Reflection and Action Points notes.

(Time guide: 10 minutes)


Slide 12 – Powerful learner-led strategies


Let’s consider what more can we do to support the learner with their meta strategies for general management and control.


Slide 13 – 1. Learner led starters

Use the cards in Activity 8.8.

Ask participants to choose a language structure or vocabulary topic from the cross-curricular planner in Strand 4. Participants consider which games they can use with which language structure or vocabulary topic.

Participants should discover that the vocabulary and language structures can be used with almost every game.

(Time guide: 10 minutes)


Slide 14 –  3. Learner led flashcards activities


Flashcards are an extremely powerful way of engaging learners. They can be used in fun learning activities to support learners with speaking, listening, reading, and writing, with teacher help and independently. They help learners recall new language, practise over time, and take responsibility for their learning at school and at home. They also allow them to personalise their learning, and engage them in a variety of enjoyable activities.

Review ‘Activities for introducing and practising vocabulary using flashcards,’  (Activity 8.9) in the Shared document.

  • By using 4 sets of the same flashcards, e.g. types of transport cut into squares participants can select a game to share and play with others.

Or participants could any of the flashcard resources in the Learning Village

Participants should familiarise themselves with the activities on the sheet.


Slide 15 – 4. Learner led online activities 

As mentioned previously, the Learning Village resource is a very helpful tool to support learning the fundamentals of English (BICS) and some of the academic language (CALP) needed to access the curriculum

It can be used to complement small-group work or as a teacher-led aid to support the needs of language learners.

For more information, register at


Slide 17 – 5. Learner led Remember Book

Talk through the value of learners keeping a Remember Book (vocabulary or phase learning book). Learner can populate these themselves when they learn new words and can share these words with teachers during appropriate learning sessions.


Slide 18 – How to use the Remember Book

Review the method of using the Remember Book on the slide.


Slide 19 – 6. Pre-learning in home language 

Consider the types of activities or projects that could be sent home for learners to engage them ahead of learning content in English. 


Slide 20 – 7. Innovating

Consider the types of ways that learners can improve wok by self editing.  


Slide 21 – Post-session learning

All participants should ensure they have read any ‘Further learning’ sections within Strand 8 that were not covered in the session.


Slide 22 – Reflection and Action Points

Allow participants 5 minutes’ reflection time to add to their Reflection and Action Points notes.

Tasks for participants:

  • Are there practical tasks in this session you can ask participants to try out themselves?
  • Can they then feedback on these tasks in a follow-up session or at a later date?
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