This study examined the motivations, activities and learning effectiveness of 35 EFL students’ learning at the self-access center (SAC) of a college in Taiwan. It also investigated the relationship between the students’ SAC use and their autonomous language learning behaviors. The data were collected through email interviews with participants and their SAC usage records. Content analysis was used to analyze students’ email interviews using six rating rubrics based on Littlewood’s (1999) learner autonomy model. The quantified data of the autonomy and SAC use scores were used to examine relationships using the non-parametric Spearman rho test.
The findings showed that beginning users (BUs) were mostly motivated to use the SAC by class work or requirements while non-beginning users (NBUs) had more autonomous reasons for using the SAC facilities to learn English. The top three activities for both groups were oral practice, using the multi-media materials to learn English and consultations, with slight differences in order. Both BU and NBU groups judged improvement on English listening and speaking to be greater than for reading and writing while more NBUs than BUs appeared to learn about appropriate English usage through learning at the SAC.
The results of the statistical analysis showed very high positive correlations between degrees of autonomy and SAC use. Students who performed more autonomous learning behaviors were those who also had high SAC usage scores. The findings on the qualitative examples using the autonomy framework revealed six categories of autonomous learning: learning beyond the classroom, learning on one’s own decision, being autonomous as a communicator, being autonomous as a learner, proactive autonomy and reactive autonomy. The results present two cases of high autonomy scoring students. Moreover, how SAC usage linked to class learning and teachers’ roles at the SAC and programmatic suggestions regarding SAC use were discussed.
|Advisor:||Mikulecky, Larry J.|
|Commitee:||Johnston, Bill, Pawan, Faridah, Pugh, Sharon L.|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/03, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||English as a Second Language, Foreign Language, Adult education|
|Keywords:||College students, EFL, EFL learners, Independent learning, Learner autonomy, Self-access center|
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