Previous Learning Experience, Strategy Beliefs, and Task Definition in Self-Regulated Foreign Language Learning

Batya Elbaum, Cynthia A. Berg, David H. Dodd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


This study investigated relationships among individuals′ foreign language learning experiences, their beliefs about the effectiveness of different language learning strategies, and their definition of the learning task. Participants were 194 college students. The study distinguished between functional learning strategies, involving communicative use of the foreign language, and formal learning strategies, involving conscious study of the language. Individuals with experience in a foreign language community or immersion program placed greater emphasis on functional strategies and defined the task as being less dependent on grammar than individuals with traditional instruction only. Strategy beliefs were also related to individuals′ definition of the learning task, such that individuals who defined the task as involving more procedural knowledge (e.g., knowledge of communication strategies) emphasized functional learning strategies, while individuals who defined the task as involving more declarative knowledge (e.g., knowledge of grammar) emphasized formal learning strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-336
Number of pages19
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 1993
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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