This paper is designed and focused at analysing the learning and development strategies which are employed by the South Asian English language learner programs while examining a piece of English test in writing. The conducted test included the participants to present feelings of the first day in the college. The outcomes and learning strategies that were exhibited were then recorded and identified in a post-exam interview. The outcome showed that there was more inclination towards metacognitive and cognitive strategies and there was less inclination of use of social affective strategies. The participant for the study is a South Asian female



The paper is an analysis of the learning strategies that are used by second language while producing a written English text. The paper is based on producing an outcome comparing the actual what the studies or the literature says and the real strategies that are displayed. The methods used for data analysis and approaches form the main part of the research along with the discussion as to what are the actual strategies that are displayed and how close they are to other findings and what the literature says. Many researchers have proposed that most of the ESL learners follow metacognitive strategies.  Flavell’s model of metacognition was also reviewed as part of this study.


Literature Review

A model of metacognition was proposed by Flavell’s (1979). This model is the establishment for examination in the domain of metacognition. As indicated by Flavell’s model, there are four classes:

According to Flavell’s model, individuals screen their cognitive process by utilizing parts portrayed as a part of these four classes. Metacognitive learning, the first classification, is an individual’s information or convictions about the variables that effect cognitive undertakings. It is acquired learning about one’s cognitive procedure and the different “cognitive tasks, objectives, activities, and encounters”, and variables: individual, task, and procedure.

The individual variable is associated with any information or mindfulness about how one learns and methods related to their cognitive exercises. For instance, more established learners perceive their memory capacities and confinements better than more youthful ones (Flavell, Friedrichs, & Hoyt, 1970). The individual variable additionally incorporates the capacity of a learner to assess qualities and shortcomings in perusing; as it was, an individual’s familiarity with their capacities. Task variable is very important in metacognitive information, is learning about the way of the undertaking and the requests of the assignment. For instance, one comprehends the level of trouble of the assignment and how to effectively meet the objective. An alternate illustration incorporates how a learner may realize that he or she needs additional time in understanding an explanatory content than others. Third variable is the strategy task which includes the methods required for accomplishing the objectives. A learner may realize that taking notes is a powerful method for the synopsis of a section.

Every one of these variables i.e. the individual, task, and strategy are related when learners are occupied with metacognitive exercises. The second class, metacognitive encounters are interior reactions that individuals have with respect to their metacognitive transforming. Flavell characterized metacognitive encounters as “any cognizant cognitive or full of feeling encounters that go with and relate to any learned endeavour”. For instance, when an individual is having a discussion with an alternate, he or she may all of a sudden vibe uncertain about what the other individual said. A singular’s consciousness of disappointment, achievement, instability, or fulfilment about things is incorporated in this class.

In the last classification, activities (or procedures) are utilized by learners to attain to their cognitive and metacognitive goals. Metacognitive methodologies exist with the end goal to screen cognitive improvement and to identify if the cognitive points are met. It ought to be noticed that each of the four classes of metacognitive learning, metacognitive encounters, tasks or objectives, and activities/methods may be coordinated during examining the learning strategies.

Exploration has uncovered that metacognition has two distinct dimensions (Baker & Brown, 1984). The primary dimension relates to understanding about cognition. Three elements are basis of this: explanatory learning, procedural information, and restrictive learning (Schraw & Moshman, 1995).  Definitive learning alludes to “information that an individual has about his capacities and about the striking learning qualities that influence cognitive handling” (McCormick, 2003). Explanatory information shows a learner’s vision about what perusing methodologies are; recognizing what outlining, skimming, inducing, and taking notes forms definitive learning.  Procedural learning is recognized as “information of how to execute the learning methods, for example, learning methods”, or follow the specific methodologies for learning. This learning obliges learners not just to comprehend what learning methodologies are, additionally to see how to really utilize them. Contingent information goes further, to incorporate learners to use specific procedures and evaluations of their viability. For instance, learners know which methods are most suitable for a specific tasks keeping in mind the end goal to attain to their learning objectives, and they find themselves able to think about their utilization of the procedures.

Bansal and Harr, (1972) suggested not exactly one or two specific strategies are useful, but the correct type and combination of strategies are essential for an effective way to learn a new language for the new learners, it also depends on the right use of strategy in the right cultural influence. That’s why it can be thought that effective way to learn a foreign language is not a universal system rather it depends on specification and specific cultural environment. Study also suggests if this strategy is followed by the teacher to teach students in classes regarding any selected context ,the result will be much better than anticipated because it give most stress on learning by self.


The participant for the study was randomly chosen insuring no biases. She was then put for a written test which consisted of a task and not particularly a test to describe her feelings on the first day of her college. She was specifically informed that it would not be a right or wrong type exam and she would need to explain her understanding in the second language that she uses. This was followed by a pre-designed interview which had questions based on the experience to ensure effective findings. The researcher was available for the whole exercise to ensure that the participant is not lost anytime in between.

The outcomes of the research showed that the participant choose metacognitive strategy over others. In various instances like planning what to write, thinking in English rather than the first language and using of self correction tools were dominant in his mind. The second particular strategy used here is the cognitive strategy, the demonstration of deductive strategy and substitution shows the presence here.  The use of mental translation instead of a dictionary shows last use of cognitive strategy. These finding brings out that the use of social affective lays last in the pattern.


Studies have shown the learning strategies used by ESL learner fall into three categories:

Metacognitive strategy- Techniques particular to ESL learning can be arranged in the accompanying three groups of metacognition. These are as follows:

Planning procedures are utilized during the course of learning; activating learners’ experience learning to get readied for perusing is a sample of planning methods. Additionally, seeing a title, picture, representation, heading can help understand about the content. Learners may review whether their material has a certain content structure.

By planning in connection to their learning objective, understudies consider what their objectives are and the way to fulfil them. Understudies, with the assistance of the instructor, can place a practical objective inside a set time for finishing that objective. Setting apparent, difficult, and sensible objectives can help understudies see their own advancement

The metacognitive capacity to choose and utilization of specific methods in a given connection for a particular reason implies that the learner can think and settle on choices about the learning procedure. Learners ought to be taught about learning methodologies as well as when and how to utilize them. Understudies ought to be told on the most proficient method to pick the best and most proper procedure in a given circumstance (Hong-Nam and Leavell, 2006)

The following primary segment of metacognition is the use of monitoring strategy. By looking at and checking the utilization of learning techniques, understudies have more risks of achievement in gathering their learning objectives. Students ought to be unequivocally taught that once they have chosen and started to utilize the particular methods, they have to check intermittently whether those procedures are powerful and being utilized as expected. For instance, when understanding, they can utilize setting to figure the importance of some obscure vocabulary things. To screen their utilization of this methodology, they ought to stop and verify whether the importance they speculated bodes well in the content and if not, do a reversal and change or change their procedure.

In the test, the participant was asked to write on “Write about your first day in your college. Describe your feelings and emotions and your college “. 15 minutes were given to the participant to write this task. Regarding the writing she mentioned that she doesn’t speak English well and her thought process revolved around Punjabi her native language. She had tried to translate the Punjabi thoughts into English. Before the usage of vocabulary a sound basis for the cohesion textual cohesion was planned in terms of grammatical form. The strategy regarding self monitor also played important role during pre test phase as it worked in the comprehension stage too. The participant read the question several times that helped in comprehension also.

In final metacognitive strategy analysis revealed better result if thinking is done in English rather than Punjabi. He also mentioned as per his teacher’s suggestion she thought in English language than Punjabi for a sound improvement.

Cognitive Strategies-

When compared with metacognitive strategies, cognitive strategies were used several times with different types of strategies. For the application of rules in writing there are evidences of inductive and deductive strategies along with rules of grammar in tense and use of conjunction. According to the participant the use of conjunction is important because it relates group strategy. Another very important strategy is followed if someone is unable to recall exact word at the time of writing. It is called substitution strategy (Hong-Nam and Leavell, 2006)

 Prior to the test the participant also applied rehearsal as a strategy to raising the value of the content she is going to write to the reader who is going to read it by ensuring the flawless structure. Participant’s idea to write his values about feelings when she entered her college gives a clear and sound picture to the reader. Among all other strategies used during the test, participant’s most reliable strategy among all other cognitive strategies is the elaboration strategy. This is more important because this strategy enable the writer to express his own view regarding his value, thought and all other important things that are able to create an impact on the reader’s mind (Oxford, 1990). In the test the participant elaborated his personal thoughts about the war and the negative effects of war on people and other things. In this stage according to the student  should be clear in mind then it becomes easier for her to realize the situation, feelings and other matter associated to the event She did it as an elaboration strategy for the components given in the exercises.

Another major strategy is regarding the vocabulary. The participant used his mental dictionary instead of the real one twice. First the thought form is retained in native Punjabi language and then usage of contextualization is done as the second strategy. According to participant, advice and evidence is the most important thing to remember and they are same mostly, so worth concentrating on them, as per the participant she sounds a word in his mind because she doesn’t know the correct spelling of it. This is the way she figured out the correct way to spell the word.

Social Affective Strategy

The learner did not use the social affective strategy much. The few evidence of use of social affective strategy included asking for the time left for the test. There were several times when the she was not writing and thinking about something, it seemed that she was not able to translate her thought to the words and could not ask for help. During the interview participant revealed that she had free mind during the test.


Presently she is staying in Australia; she is getting ready for higher study and is expecting to achieve capability in English so she could scrutinize further studies in Australia. In more extensive perspective she is not keen to stay in Australia for a longer term. So she can be thought as participant of English for general scholarly reason furthermore English as second dialect understudy.

Data collection method

As part of the study, the participant was asked to write a piece of writing on the experience of first day in college. Participant was asked to express the feelings and emotions on the basis of whatever she remembered. Participant was asked to focus on various aspects like interaction with peers and colleagues and response towards her first lecture. Participant was given few hints on which she could write like the college environment and infrastructure, her liking and disliking. The reason behind hinting these ideas to the participants was to provide her ideas so that she can think freely and write her ideas.  Once the writing was completed, a formal interview or discussion was conducted with the participant so as to enquire about her thoughts while participating in the task

Data Collection

Toward the start of the activity it was informed prior to the participant that the test will not be used for any marking or academic person and was only to assess her English skills, so there is no extent of negative checking. The researcher was available amid the examination to watch and asses the information. Length of the activity was fifteen minutes.

After the writing activity, there was a verbal discourse with the participant about the undertaking and what she felt about the assignment. A sound recording was likewise done that was utilized later for examination of information.

Data Analysis

Data collected during the study was reviewed and analysed to understand the learning strategy of the participant. The study revealed that like most of the ESL learner the participant mostly followed metacognitive strategies as the major strategy. The learner also exhibited use of cognitive strategies like thought process was governed is retained in native Punjabi language and then usage of contextualization is done as the second strategy. Social affective strategies were the least used.

Ethical perspective

The consent of the participant was taken in advanced and the structure of the exercise was also informed to the learner. The participant was also informed about the purpose of the study was to check the  capability level of English, what is really needed from him, how the information gathered from the test she is going to show up will be utilized.




The study revealed the fact that the ESL learners are more inclined to use metacognitive strategy and was in accordance to Flavell’s model of metacognition. The findings revealed that the member showed some predefined and established strategies and leanings while delivering the test. The principle method use- the metacognitive system or somewhat focused on the two noteworthy classes namely self-monitoring and planning, they were the preferred type seen in occurrence. An alternate was the cognitive system which was also used by the participant. The last favoured strategy type was the social affective strategies. Thus, on the basis of the outcome it can be safely stated that the best teaching approach for this student would be the concentrate use of metacognitive strategy and the cognitive strategy, enhancing the learning outcome



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Bansal, R. K., and J. B. Harr  (1972). Spoken English for India (2nd ed). Madras:Orient Longman.

Flavell, J. H. (1979). Metacognition and cognitive monitoring: A new area of  cognitive developmental inquiry. American Psychologist, 34(10), 906-911

Hong-Nam, K and Leavell, G (2006), Language learning strategy use of ESL students in an English learning context system 34:399-415

McCormick, C. B. (2003). Metacognition and learning. In I. B. Weiner (Series Ed.), W. M.Reynolds & G. E. Miller (Vol. Eds.), Handbook of psychology: Educational psychology (Vol. 7, pp. 79-102). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc

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