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1. 1. 1 The necessity of autonomous and cooperative learning
In order to adapt to the changing society, everyone must keep learning to ensure their adaptability. That is to say, teachers should teach students how to learn which can benefit them for a lifetime. It has become a very important part of the modern teaching contents. Students are the subjects of education. In teaching and learning process, students play a decisive role. Today, with the rapid development of society, English teaching has been reformed from contents to forms, the big change is unbelievable. The language learning is an active dynamic process and a process in which students comprehensively use various strategy patterns to process the information, monitor and examine those processes for finally achieving the aim of using language flexibly. American linguist Cohen said: “the success of language learning depends on learners themselves and the factors of themselves as well as the abilities of making full use of learning chances.” English learning not only needs to learn a new language system but also a new language habit which is not acquired by teaching but by the large amounts of language practice. That is to say, learners can truly perceive some rules and laws of language use by taking part in various language practice activities with real purpose positively and actively. The success of English learning, to a great extent, depends on the students’ autonomous learning after class. English learning is an independent activity to a great extent, so it is very important for the teachers to promote students’ autonomous and cooperative learning effectively. But in real practice of English teaching, teachers often pay more attention to the teaching process. They spend quite a long time preparing a lesson to foster a kind of active atmosphere in class and they carefully design all kinds of class situations and correct the students’ homework earnestly in order to get good teaching effect. This is the necessary means of achieving the teaching effect. But at the same time, some teachers ignore the subjective initiative of the students and neglect the cultivation and training of their learning strategy ability in the process of English learning. Such teaching often wastes effort. In addition, there are 50 or 60 or even more students in one class. With various demands, their learning styles, learning motivations, learning attitudes, cognitive levels and cognitive styles, personality traits, language learning abilities, emotional characteristics are all different. Comparatively, each teacher always has his own relative stable teaching methods and styles which can not meet the needs of different students. Therefore, the student’s individual differences call for a foreign language teaching which can provide an environment of autonomous learning and let the students carry out some corresponding training of listening, speaking, reading and writing according to their specific situation so as to finally become active learners.
It will be easier for the students to cooperate with each other in active learning atmosphere. Cooperative learning focuses on the potential significance of interactions among students. It indicates that interactions among students are the valuable human resources which should be further explored in teaching system and they are indispensable important factors that determine the success of teaching activities. Therefore, the interactions between students are highly focused on cooperative learning. They are utilized scientifically as one of the important interactive manners in the whole teaching process. Doing like this fully develops and utilizes the human resources in teaching and injects new vitality into the modern teaching system, which has important guiding significance for us to correctly understand the essence of teaching, lighten the burden of teachers and students, increase the frequencies of students’ participation in learning and enhance the teaching effect. Cooperative learning also stresses the leading status of interactions among teachers. Cooperative learning indicates that there also exist significant differences among teachers on their knowledge structures, wisdom levels, thinking and cognitive styles which are just like that among the students. Even among the teachers who teach the same subjects, they differ from each other in dealing with the teaching contents, the selection of teaching methods and the overall design of teaching. These differences are valuable resources. Through the interactions, teachers can enlighten each other and get mutual complement and obtain the wisdom in teaching. Naturally, new ideas and concepts of teaching will certainly benefit the teaching practice and consequently, be helpful for achieving the goal of teaching.
1.1.2 The importance of learning strategies
Contemporary education and psychology circles have already realized that the basic purpose of education is to make the students become independent and effective learners. To solve the contradiction between the limitless knowledge and the limitation of time at school and let students gain lifelong learning ability, the teacher should not only care about students’ “learning”, but also need to make students grasp the way of learning in their future, and teach students how to learn. The core of learning how to learn is to obtain learning strategy and the improvement. As to the middle school English learning, in order to learn English well, students need not only a good learning motivation, but also a scientific guide in learning strategy. Meanwhile, cultivating students’ effective learning strategies is not only good for improving students’ study efficiency, reducing their learning burden, but also can improve the teaching quality. The primary task of improving teaching quality is not to impart knowledge to students but to cultivate their learning strategies which in turn will encourage the learning. In February, 2003 “Junior Middle School Curriculum Standards ”hereinafter referred to as the “New Standards”, which clearly defined: English course’s mission of basic education stage is to inspire and cultivate students' interest in English study, make students build their confidence, form good learning habits and form effective learning strategies, and develop autonomous learning skills and cooperation spirit. New Standards emphasizes students’ language skills, language knowledge, attitude, learning strategy and cultural awareness of development as a foundation to cultivate students’ comprehensive capability of using English. Therefore, there is no doubt about the importance of learning strategies and the effect in English learning and no doubt about the necessity of encouraging students to use learning strategies to promote English learning.
1.2.1 Research significance
Cooperative learning is one of the new learning methods that are advocated in China’s current curriculum reform for basic education. Cooperative learning is an interaction between teachers and students and a unity of teaching and learning. It emphasizes positive interaction and mutual help and everyone plays a part in it. The ability of self-control emphasized on cooperative learning can enhance students’ learning responsibility, increase self-confidence and improve academic performance. Meanwhile, students’ learning strategies largely determine their academic performance. “To teach fishing is better than to offer fish.” Learning strategy is not only the means to help students improve academic performance, but also an important content of learning. A number of studies have suggested that learning strategies are teachable. The students who use effective learning strategies can improve their learning effect and quality greatly, which still can reduce their learning burden. In addition, infiltrating the cultivation of learning strategy into teaching can promote learning potential for the poor achievers and reduce their learning difficulties. Finally, researching learning strategy can promote teachers’ teaching. Teachers can adjust their teaching strategies and teaching methods by understanding students’ learning strategies, so as to improve the teaching effect.
“New Standards” provides clear teaching reform direction and the basis to English teacher and promotes the new English education reform process more powerfully. Overall, our English teaching has achieved remarkable results in recent years. But in 10 years of practical English teaching, the author has found that in every section of English learning, quite a few students have problems. They can’t preview seriously, and cannot actively search relevant data to expand knowledge, or use reference books to try to understand what they don’t know. Autonomous learning ability should be further enhanced. And some students don’t pay attention in class, or couldn’t understand for the first time and give up. They are also lack of learning perseverance and do not review in time after class. As for homework, the students passively to do the written work, and they rarely do listening and speaking after class, even if they do, their aim is still for examination, and they never do it for the English improvement and the purpose of communicating in English listening, speaking, reading and writing. So the training also needs to be strengthened. Meanwhile, as a teacher, the author also should undertake deep reflections, because almost half of the students can’t concentrate in class, and only small proportion of students who can truly participate in class activities, and take part in English listening, speaking, reading and writing activities. Meanwhile, polarization in English teaching is becoming increasing serious; students with low achievements are seriously lack of interest in learning English. Our school, as the frontier of education teaching reform in Changyi, has been introducing new textbooks, namely the new standard textbooks were published by Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press for many years. As a junior middle school English teacher, the author deeply felt that cultivating students’ own learning strategies, teaching students’ autonomous learning should be an important goal of English teaching reform. Whether English teaching reform could be successful or not depends largely on the concept whether it could be understood correctly by teachers and students. It also depends on the way in which the students do in the learning strategies and autonomous study. English reform urges teachers to quickly update their concepts to construct students’ autonomous learning, led by new English teaching mode, namely training students to use the learning strategies to promote English learning. What is learning strategy? New Standards points out: “learning strategies refer to various actions and steps which students want to be more effective in learning and using language to adopt. English learning strategies include cognitive strategies, self-monitoring strategies, communication strategies and emotional strategies, etc. In teaching, teachers should help students form their suitable learning strategies”. But the importance of these learning strategies is not disseminated much. In 10 years of practice, the author felt most teachers and students have made progress in the understandingof English learning strategies, but it is still insufficient for how to implement the learning strategies specifically. They also do not have clear scheme and knowledge. Therefore, the author studies the theory and practice of language learning strategies, and want to verify the importance of learning strategies in the junior middle school. Then let the students form their learning strategies through the training. At the same time, more junior middle school English teachers could pay more attention to learning strategies and actively instruct students in their teaching activity. Consequently, the students can turn to cooperative, autonomous and scientific learning style from passive, receptive and memorization learning style. The author believes we will be better in improving students’ English learning efficiency, and can lay a solid foundation for students’ life-long learning and development.
1.2.2 Research purpose
First, arouse learners’ initiative, and cultivate their ability of autonomous learning ability, highlight the improvement of ability in foreign language teaching.
Next, discuss how the junior middle school students to form the systematic English learning strategies in cooperative learning; verify the importance of English language learning strategies in junior middle school.
 And then, make the teachers more clear about duty: not only to teach the language knowledge, and to enables the students to master the language learning and application ability through the imparting and training of learning strategies.
Finally, explore an effective way for teachers to help junior school students form English learning strategies.
The study includes five chapters. Chapter 1 is an introduction. The researcher explains the background and the significance of the study. Chapter 2 is the literature review. The researcher organizes this chapter in three parts. The first part is to discuss learning strategies. The definitions, the study at home and abroad are discussed in the first part. The second part is to discuss cooperative learning. The third part is to discuss characteristics of learning strategies. Chapter 3 describes the experiment process. Chapter 4 draws the experiment results. Chapter 5 draws the conclusion to the whole thesis. Major findings, limitation and suggestions for future studies will also be discussed.
 
 
 
 
 
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