Strategic Investment and Online Learning

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In recent decades, language-teaching methodology has seen a sharp rise in training more independent and autonomous learners through what is known as Strategic Investment. (Brown, 2001). Strategic Investment is a learner-centered approach, with a focus on employing methods to

internalize the learning process. There is no doubt that learning any set of skills needs an investment of time, effort, and attention; language learning isn’t an exception. All skills are acquired through a combination of observing, focusing, practicing, monitoring, and redirecting. If learning strategies are applied effectively, successful learning will certainly be the outcome. (Brown, 2001).

These days, and especially since the outbreak of the pandemic, online learning has reached an impressive status in language pedagogy. Out of necessity, more and more language learners are choosing online learning as the primary mode of delivery for their lessons. Personally, I have found this trend to be an opportunity for students to make more strategic investments in their learning. Through online learning, they have come to see themselves as more accountable for their own learning, which is the goal of strategy-based instruction. Let’s consider how online learning provides more opportunities for greater investment, which results in more successful learning.

  • Online learning is a way to make learners more autonomous: Learners have access to the Internet, meaning they are now better equipped to solve their language problems instantly, just through a click. This makes them more independent.
  • Online learning provides a safer and more stress-free environment: my learners feel safer in the virtual world than the real world, so as this barrier of fear is removed, they tend to become more aware of their learning styles and build better learning strategies. I’ve seen this in online classes; all leaners eventually find their own way and take charge of their learning. For example, they all finally develop their own way of giving lectures, even the shyest. And, as said earlier, they have access to almost all materials instantly.
  • Online environments actually make learners more creative in their learning: The availability of numerous materials and resources encourages and develops creativity. Learners have a wealth of options to choose from which increases the chances for investment in learning.

Taking all the options technology has provided for language learners into account, they now see themselves better able to apply strategic investment to make their journey more independent and autonomous, while at the same time productive and fulfilling.

Brown, H. D. (2001). Teaching by Principles; An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy, Second Edition. NY: Pearson Education Company.


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