Page 1


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 70-72 ! Special Issue on Supporting Self-Directed Learning Contents: Volume 4, Number 2, June 2013 Edited by Jo Mynard • Editorial: Special Issue on Supporting Self-directed learning by Jo Mynard (70-72) Articles

The Relationship Between Learners’ Self-directed Learning Readiness and their English for Specific Purposes Course Accomplishment at Distance Education in Iran!by Parinaz Mohammadi and Seyed Mahdi Araghi (73-84)!

Beyond the Classroom: The Role of Self-Guided Learning in SecondLanguage Listening and Speaking Practice by Marion Davis (85-95)

A Move Towards Autonomy: Individualized Education Plans for Effective Materials Use by Kenneth Cranker and Nicole Servais (96-124)

Self-Access Language Learning Programme: The Case of the English Language Voluntary Intensive Independent Catch-up Study by Salomi Papadima-Sophocleous (125-140)

Regular Column •

General Introduction to the “Case Studies in Self-Access” Column by Jo Mynard (141)

Case Study Introduction by Katherine Thornton (Column Editor) (142)

A Framework for Curriculum Reform: Re-designing a Curriculum for Self-directed Language Learning by Katherine Thornton (142-153)!

Announcement •

Upcoming Special Issue: Call for papers Special Issue on Accessing and Accessorizing for Self-Access Language Learning (SALL). December, 2013 (Volume 4, Issue 4) edited by Carol J. Everhard

70


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 70-72 !

Editorial: Special Issue on Supporting Self-directed Learning Jo Mynard, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan

Welcome to issue 4(2), June, 2013 which is a special issue on “supporting self-directed learning”. As professionals working in the field of self-access learning, we know that simply providing a self-access centre and expecting learners to become autonomous and engaged in self-directed study without help is unrealistic (Benson, 2011). Educators worldwide are providing support for learners in developing their self-directed learning skills in various ways: as part of a language class, as a standalone awareness-raising course, as self-directed learning modules outside class, through portfolio-based independent study, through online courses, through workshops offered by a self-access centre, and through face-to-face and written advising. This special issue looks at reasons why support for self-directed learning is needed, and provides examples of ways in which structured support is given. The first article by Parinaz Mohammadi (Urmia University, Iran) and Seyed Mahdi Araghi (Tabriz Payam-e-Noor University, Iran) is a good place to begin this special issue as the authors investigate the idea of “readiness for self-directed learning” through an empirical study. The authors present findings from their study that suggest that a prerequisite amount of learner training is needed before students can successfully undertake self-directed learning. In the next article, Marion Davis from Georgia State University in the USA provides an extended literature review which explores a solution of scaffolding students’ outside class learning opportunities, particularly for speaking and listening practice. The author draws on studies in language education and also other fields to investigate the benefits and challenges of self-guided learning. The next two articles look at how two institutions are supporting learners in self-directed study. Kenneth Cranker and Nicole Servais from the University of Delaware English Language Institute in the USA provide an account of how they established a system of supporting learners outside class to use self-access materials appropriately in order to focus on their language learning goals. In their article, the authors provide a guide for creating Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for use in self-access environments along with some model forms that can be used by other educators.

71


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 70-72 ! In the next article, Salomi Papadima-Sophocleous from Cyprus University of Technology provides results of a study that investigated the effectiveness of an optional “Catch up Study” programme of self-access learning. The intervention was successful in helping students to approach the language level required by the Common European Framework of Reference. The study also looks at students’ perceptions of the SALL programme. Finally, Katherine Thornton from Otemon Gakuin University in Japan provides the first part of a series of articles documenting one institution’s approach to evaluating and renewing its self-access curriculum, i.e. the way in which training for self-directed learning skills is offered to learners. In the first column, the author provides some background information to the project, explains the procedure for evaluation in more depth, and presents some findings from the initial environment analysis stage. Acknowledgements I would like to thank the authors for choosing SiSAL Journal as a venue for their work. I would also like to express my gratitude to the reviewers and the members of the editorial team for their help support with producing this issue. Cover photo: Sojo University, Kumamoto, Japan

About the Editor Jo Mynard has been the managing editor of SiSAL Journal since it was established in 2010. She is the Director of the Self-Access Learning Centre and Assistant Director of the English Language Institute at Kanda University of International Studies in Japan. She has an M.Phil. in Applied Linguistics from Trinity College, Dublin and an Ed.D. In TEFL from the University of Exeter, UK. References Benson, P. (2011). Teaching and researching autonomy in language learning. Harlow, UK: Longman Pearson.

72


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 73-84

The Relationship between Learners’ Self-directed Learning Readiness and their English for Specific Purposes Course Accomplishment at Distance Education in Iran Parinaz Mohammadi, Urmia University, Iran Seyed Mahdi Araghi, Tehran Payam-e-Noor University, Iran Abstract The major role of self-directed learning, a sub-division of autonomy, in successful learning at distance education has been informed by various studies. Although learners pass General English courses before studying any ESP courses at distance education in Iran, they sometimes lack the preliminary skills for independent language learning. The current study aimed to explore ESP learners’ self-directed learning readiness (SDLR) and the relationship between SDLR and ESP course accomplishment. Participants were 126 B.A students (33 male and 93 female) studying English for Students of Economy and Management (ESEM) at Tabriz Payam-e-Noor University which is based on distance learning. Data gathered by Guglielmino’s (1978) self-directed learning readiness scale (SDLRS) and a test of ESEM. Data analysis revealed that half of the learners’ SDLR is at an average or below average level, which is likely to be insufficient for conducting successful self-directed language learning (SDLL). Furthermore, the correlation coefficient demonstrated that there is a positive relationship between SDLR and ESP course accomplishment. Therefore, the need for appropriate training to improve learners’ SDLR that directly contributes to a successful ESP learning at distance education in Iran becomes apparent. Keywords: distance education, ESP, self-directed learning, self-directed language learning

In recent decades, as the research has grown in the area of self-directed learning (SDL), scholars have begun to explore it in the area of foreign or second language learning. It is claimed that a considerable amount of language learning occurs outside the classroom; consequently, students perform one of the major roles in organizing this aspect of learning (Horwitz, 1987). Therefore, the need for addressing other aspect of SDL called self-directed language learning (SDLL) becomes apparent. Whereas SDLL is common among all language learners, it is a salient feature of ESP learners in distance learning. In such a setting, learners are obliged to apply SDL during their whole studies and cope with requirements of this university. It is claimed that SDL is the essential factor leading to success in distance learning courses (Gan, 2004; Gearhart, 2002). However, as learners in Iran are accustomed to learning in formal education with a teachercentered style for many years, learning in a SDL method can be very demanding for them. As 73


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 73-84 a result, they may be confronted with problems in conducting SDL in their courses, especially language learning courses. In order to estimate the depth of ESP learners’ problems and the need for self-directed training in distance education in Iran, research was conducted by Araghi and Mohammadi (2012) on 275 ESP learners majoring in Theology and Islamic Science, and Economics and Social science, Management, Geology, and Chemistry at Tabriz Payam-e-Noor University. The fact that around 75% of the ESP learners were not aware of skills and strategies to promote SDLL and preferred to be taught directly by teachers implies that it is necessary to make learners aware of the benefits and steps associated with SDLL in order to facilitate ESP learning in the distance education system in Iran. These findings, lack of research in the area of SDLL, and the critical condition of ESP learning in distance education in Iran makes conducting of this research vital. This study aims to demonstrate a clear state of ESP learners’ self-directed learning readiness (SDLR) for distance education in Iran. Moreover, it aims to find the relationship between learners’ SDLR and their ESP course achievements. The following research questions were developed based on the aims of this study: 1) What is the learners’ current level of SDLR? 2) Is there any relationship between learners’ SDLR and their ESEM grades? 3) Can SDLR be used as a good predictor of learners’ final ESP grades?

Literature Review We usually expect learning to take place in educational institutions under the direction of a teacher based upon a textbook and a systematic course. However, this is a narrow view toward the learning process because learning does not cease outside the confines of the classroom (Gibbons, Bailey, Comeau, Schmuck, Seymour, & Wallace, 1980). Learners usually conduct much of the learning process outside the boundaries of a formal classroom. SDL that leads to conducting independent studies is not totally a new concept in the field of learning (Grow, 1991). It is a concept widely used in the context of learner autonomy. It is defined by several scholars in different terms, some of them listed below:

74


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 73-84 – SDL refers to any self-teaching projects in which the learner establishes his specific goal, decides how to achieve it, finds relevant resources, plans his strategies, and maintains his motivation to learn independently (Tough, 1967). – SDL is a process in which individual learners take the advantage to recognize their learning needs, establish learning goals, identify appropriate materials, implement relevant strategies in learning, and evaluate the learning progress, with or without the help of others (Knowles, 1975). – SDL is any study in which individual learners take the responsibility to plan, implement and evaluate their own learning process (Hiemstra, 1994). – SDL is a process of learning in which the learners control their own learning in terms of setting goals, finding resources, selecting appropriate methods to learn and evaluating the learning progress (Brookfield, 1995). – SDL is a learned phenomenon that is based on affective traits, love of learning and basic skills, and cognitive exercises (Vann, 1996). – SDL is any accumulation of knowledge, skill, or personal development that individuals accomplish by their own efforts using any method in any circumstances at any time (Gibbons, 2002). – SDL is a state of learning in which making all the decisions related to learning are shouldered by the learner; however, main factors in implementing the decisions are necessarily given by authorities (Kumaravadivelu, 2003). – SDL is an approach to learning that relies on flexibility in time and place of learning and entrusts responsibilities of learning to the learner (Smedley, 2007). Considering all the definitions of SDL, it is worth mentioning that according to Caffarella (1993) ‘self’ in SDL does not necessarily mean solitary learning or learning in isolation. She further stressed the roles of human resources such as friends, colleagues, and experts in that area of knowledge and material resources like books, magazines, and journals in providing help for SDL. The definitions depend on the kind of view that scholars had toward SDL. Some believed that SDL is an instructional process in which the learning is centered on all external factors of learners (Brockett & Hiemstra, 1991; Hiemstra & Brockett, 1994; Hiemstra & 75


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 73-84 Sisco, 1990; Knowles, 1975; Tough, 1967). Others emphasized personal characteristics internal to individual learners which enables them to pursue SDL successfully (Guglielmino, 1978). Some other scholars approach SDL from the viewpoint of social, experiential, and political aspects (Brookfield, 1993; Vann, 1996). During recent decades, several research studies in the area of SDL have resulted in numerous publications, research reports, and instruments by other researches from around the world. Gibbons et al. (1980) explored the biographies of 450 self-directed learners to find patterns in order to propose principles for SDL. Long (1989) highlighted the major role of building theory and principles for SDL in terms of sociological, pedagogical, and psychological dimensions. Candy (1991) demonstrated the dichotomy of SDL as a process and as a goal. Brockett and Hiemstra (1991) suggested Personal Responsibility Orientation (PRO) model with the aim to highlight similarities and differences between SDL as an instruction method and as a set of personality characteristics. Hiemstra (1994) investigated SDL in terms of learning and learner’s ability or willingness to take the responsibility of learning and accepting its relevant consequences. Hiemstra and Brockett (1994) explored how to overcome internal and external sources of resistance to SDL. In the area of language learning, attributes and behaviors of third language learners were examined and compared to second language learners by Rivers (1996). This study revealed two main results: a) Third language learners succeeded in language learning faster than second language learners. b) The characteristics and behaviors of third language learners were similar to self-directed language learners (Rivers, 1996). The importance of self-directed learning as a prerequisite for online courses in the context of distance learning is confirmed by Gearhart (2002) at Dakota State University. It was found that there is a positive relationship between the level of self-directedness, measured by a self-directed self-assessment test and the final course grades. With accelerating interest in SDL, new roles are necessary for both teachers and learners. Gibbons et al. (1980) focus on the active role of learners in engaging with challenging activities as contrasted with passive and abstract-theoretical activities. Tough (1967) emphasizes the shift of responsibility from teacher to learner in conventional learning and SDL. He asserts that the range of responsibilities varies along a continuum in which at one pole the maximum responsibility is shouldered by the teacher whereas at the other pole the maximum responsibility is shouldered by the learner.

76


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 73-84 Despite the plethora of literature developed in the area of SDL across the world, it seems that we are far from understanding the role of readiness for SDLL at distance learning in Iran. Methodology Participants of the study Participants of this study were 126 B.A students of Economics and Management including 33 male and 93 female learners. They were studying English for Economics and Management (ESEM) at Tabriz Payam-e-Noor University based on a distance education system. All the students passed the General English course that is a prerequisite course for selecting ESP courses. Data gathering instruments In order to gather data, a questionnaire of self-directed learning readiness scale (SDLRS) developed by Guglielmino (1978) was applied to test students’ degree of readiness for SDLL. SDLRS is a 58-item scale, a highly valid and reliable questionnaire, which has been used in more than 250 studies in self-directed learning. The main focus of items are on 8 factors: openness to learning opportunities, self-concept as an effective learner, initiative and independence in learning, informed acceptance of responsibility for one’s own learning, a love of learning, creativity, future orientation, and the ability to use basic study skills and problem-solving skills. Each item has a 5-point Likert format scale including ‘1=almost never true of me’, ‘2=usually not true of me’, ‘3=sometimes true of me’, ‘4=usually true of me’, ‘5=almost always true of me’. Each point has a score equal to its number. For Example in positively stated items, selecting ‘usually true of me’, scores 4 points for that item. Some items of SDLRS are negatively stated; therefore, they are reverse scored. This means that if a participant selects ‘almost always true of me’, 1 point will be assigned to that item. The sum of these scores will show the SDLR of that participant. According to Guglielmino (1978) SDLR scores are classified into three levels. Scores between 58 and 201 are below the average level, 202-226 are at average level, and 227-290 are above the average level of SDLR. In addition to SDLRS, an ESEM test was administered to the ESP learners by the university in order to check their learning of ESP course content. The ESP teacher scored the tests and reported the learners’ scores to the researchers.

77


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 73-84 Data gathering procedure Data was collected at Tabriz Payam-e-Noor University. The SDLRS questionnaire was distributed among learners near the end of the second semester. They were instructed to read the items and complete all of them. Although written instructions were supplied to learners, to make it more comprehensible the researcher explained orally that learners should read the items and select one of 1-5 points according to their first impression of statement about their learning experiences. Then, their SDLR was calculated by summing up the scores of items. Data analysis Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) version 16.0 was used in order to calculate descriptive statistics and Pearson correlation coefficient between scores of SDLRS and ESEM. Furthermore, linear regression was used to find out whether learners’ current SDLR can predict their ESEM scores.

Findings and Discussion Data analysis displayed a SDLR mean score of 222.87 with a standard deviation of 26.29. By using SPSS, participants’ SDLRS scores were recorded into three levels described by Guglielmino. The findings revealed that 50% of participants ranked at high level, 41% at average level, and 17.5% at below average level of SDLRS (Table 1). Students with high SDLRS scores can implement their own learning successfully while those with average scores are not fully competent in handling the entire process of learning at distance education (Guglielmino, 1978). This is even more problematic for those with below average scores since they are accustomed to traditional classrooms and lectures and lack the ability to conduct their own language learning. One of the apparent problems of learners in distance education in Iran is the lack of familiarity with the subject of SDL and relevant strategies and skills.

78


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 73-84

Table 1. Self-directed Learning Readiness Level

Frequency Percent Valid below average average above average Total

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

22

17.5

17.5

17.0

41

32.5

32.5

50.0

63

50.0

50.0

100.0

126

100.0

100.0

In order to establish the relationship between learners’ SDLR and their final course grades, a correlation coefficient was calculated. As can be seen in Table 2, a significant level of 0.002 that is less than 0.01 confirms that there is a significant relationship between SDLR and ESEM grades. Since the value of Pearson correlation is 0.276, it was concluded that there is a positive relationship between SDLR and ESEM. However, this relationship is weak. Table 2. Correlations

Self-directed learning readiness scale English for Students of Economics and Management

Pearson Correlation Sig. (2-tailed) N Pearson Correlation Sig. (2-tailed) N

SDLRS

ESP

1

.276** .002 126 1

126 .276** .002 126

126

** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

A linear regression model was employed to calculate the extent to which SDLRS predict ESEM scores (Table 3). The R Square equals 0.076, which reveals that learners SDLR can only predict a little more than 7% of their scores in the ESEM course.

79


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 73-84 Table 3. Model Summary

Model 1

R R Square a .276 .076

Adjusted R Std. Error of Square the Estimate .069 3.51444

a. Predictors: (ESEM), SDLRS

The existence of a weak relationship between SDLR and ESEM might be influenced by several issues in the Iranian system of education. The most important one is adherence to teacher-directed methods during studying at elementary, junior, and high schools. On the other hand, lack of training regarding SDL imposes another limitation on learners. These findings can shed light on the concept of language learning in distance learning in Iran. Most of the research in Iran focuses on open learning; therefore, it is necessary to consider the important factors such as SDL, SDLR, skills and strategies of SDL in language learning at distance educational system, too. Conclusion Gibbons (2002) focused on the prominent state of SDL in today’s life by stating that: Globalization is rapidly expanding the economic field of play. Change is dramatically shifting the nature of life and work. Knowledge is doubling every few years. Technology is transforming the way we live and the way we work. Work itself is transformed from the well-protected lifelong job to the precarious short-term performance contract. Individuals will not be looked after from the cradle to the grave; increasingly, they must look after themselves. Students must know how to learn every day, how to adapt to rapidly shifting circumstances, and how to take independent initiative when opportunity disappears. SDL prepares students for this new world in which the active learner survives best (p. 2) There is no doubt that “the most important outcome of education is to help students become independent of formal education” (Gray, n.d.). Therefore, there should be a balance between learners’ SDLR and the kind of education, they are undertaking. Considering all the related literature, an analysis of the relationship between learners’ SDLR and their ESEM scores were conducted at Tabriz Payam-e-Noor University. The findings revealed that half of the learners’ level of readiness is at average or below average 80


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 73-84 level, which seems insufficient for conducting a successful SDLL in the distance education system of Payam-e-Noor University. This may have been affected by learners’ tendencies for teacher-directed classes in the Iranian educational system. Furthermore, the existence of a positive relationship between learners’ SDLR and course accomplishment confirms that by increasing learners’ SDLR it is highly likely that their course grades will improve. In order to keep the trends of SDLL at this university, a helpful instruction of how to conduct SDL is required. Several researchers implemented learner-training courses as an intervention program in various fields of study. They found that it enhances learners’ readiness for SDL and achievements of main courses (Gan, 2004; Gearhart, 2002; Huang, 2008; Saha, 2006). Findings of this study can directly contribute to ESP teaching in distance education and in the preparation of guidelines to promote ESP learning in a self-directed way. Moreover, teachers and materials developers will be persuaded to smooth the way for learners of ESP courses in distance education in order to engage not only in updating of their knowledge in the related majors of study through medium of English language, but also in learning English for meeting their daily needs. It is undeniable that there were some limitations in this study, which can suggest ideas for further research, such as: – This study was conducted in one branch of Payam-e-Noor University in Iran. Therefore, it might not adequately represent the population of ESP learners in distance education in Iran. – The participants were not selected randomly; moreover, in this study, the participants were selected from one group of majors i.e. Economics and Management. – The focus was on ESP, but it is necessary to consider general English learning in distance education, too. Therefore, the findings of this study need to be interpreted with due consideration of the limitations.

81


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 73-84 Notes on the Contributors Parinaz Mohammadi is an EFL instructor and supervisor at Language Teaching Centers. She has conducted several research projects related to autonomous language learning, teaching issues in distance education, and class management.! Seyed Mahdi Araghi is an assistant professor in TEFL at Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran. He has published several articles in applied linguistics including psycholinguistics, contrastive analysis, and teacher training programs. References Araghi, S. M., & Mohammadi, P. (2012). Iranian ESP learners’ awareness of selfdirected learning strategies in distance education. Unpublished manuscript, English Language Faculty, Tabriz Payam-e-Noor University, East Azerbaijan, Iran. Brockett, R. G., & Hiemstra, R. (1991). Self-direction in adult learning: Perspectives on theory, research, and practice. New York, NY: Routledge. Retrieved from http://wwwdistance.syr.edu/sdlindex.html Brookfield, S. (1993). Self-directed learning, political clarity, and the critical practice of adult education, Adult Education Quarterly, 43(4), 227-242. doi:10.1177/0741713693043004002 Brookfield, S. (1995). Adult learning: An overview. In A. Tuinjman (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Education (pp. 375-380). Oxford, UK: Pergamon. Caffarella, R. S. (1993). Self-directed learning. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 57, 25-35. doi:10.1002/ace.36719935705 Candy, P. C. (1991). Self-direction for lifelong learning: A comprehensive guide to theory and practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Gan, Z. (2004). Attitudes and strategies as predictors of self-directed language learning in an EFL context. International Journal of Applied Linguistics,14(3), 389-411. doi:10.1111/j.1473-4192.2004.00071.x Gearhart, D. L. (2002). The effect of self-directed learning skills on the successful completion of an online course (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Capella University, Minneapolis, MN. Gibbons, M. (2002). The self-directed learning handbook: Challenging adolescent students to excel. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. Gibbons, M., Bailey, A., Comeau, P., Schmuck, J., Seymour, S., & Wallace, D. (1980). Toward a theory of self-directed learning: A study of experts without formal training. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 20(2), 41-56. doi:10.1177/002216788002000205 Gray, P. E. (n.d.). Paul E. Gray quotes. Retrieved from http://www.quotes.net/authors/Paul%20E.%20Gray 82


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 73-84

Grow, G. (1991). Teaching learners to be self-directed. Adult Education Quarterly, 41(3), 125-149. doi:10.1177/0001848191041003001 Guglielmino, L. M. (1978). Development of the self-directed learning readiness scale. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Georgia, 1977). Dissertation Abstracts International, 38, 6467A. Hiemstra, R. (1994). Self-directed adult learning. In T. Husen & T. N. Postlethwaite (Eds.), International encyclopedia of education (2nd ed.) (pp. 5394-5399). Oxford, UK: Pergamon Press. Hiemstra, R., & Brockett, R. G. (1994). From behaviorism to humanism: Incorporating selfdirection in learning concepts into the instructional design process. In H. B. Long & Associates (Eds.), New ideas about self-directed learning (pp. 59-80). Norman, OK: Oklahoma Research Center for Continuing Professional and Higher Education, University of Oklahoma. Hiemstra, R., & Sisco, B. (1990). Individualizing instruction: Making learning personal, empowering, and successful. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Horwitz, E. K. (1987). Surveying student beliefs about language learning. In A. L. Wenden & J. Rubin (Eds.), Learner strategies in language learning (pp. 119-133). London, UK: Prentice Hall. Huang, M. (2008). Factors influencing self-directed learning readiness amongst Taiwanese nursing students. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Retrieved from http://eprints.qut.edu.au/20709/1/Meihui_Huang_Thesis.pdf Knowles, M. S. (1975). Self-directed learning: A guide for learners and teachers. New York, NY: Cambridge Books. Kumaravadivelu, B. (2003). Beyond methods: Macrostrategies for language teaching. New Heaven, CT: Yale University Press. Long, H. B. (1989). Self-directed learning: Emerging theory and practice. In H. B. Long & Associates (Eds.), Self-directed Learning: Emerging Theory & Practice. (pp. 1-12). Norman, OK: Oklahoma Research Center for Continuing Professional and Higher Education, University of Oklahoma. Rivers, W.P. (1996). Self-directed language learning and third language learner (Report No. FL 024 730).Washington, DC: Eric Clearinghouse on Language and Linguistics. (ED411679). Saha, D. (2006). Improving Indonesian nursing students’ self-directed learning readiness. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Retrieved from http://eprints.qut.edu.au/16293/

83


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 73-84 Smedley, A. (2007). The self-directed learning readiness of first year bachelor of nursing students. Journal of Research in Nursing, 12(4), 373-385. doi:10.1177/1744987107077532 Tough, A. M. (1967). Learning without a teacher: A study of tasks and assistance during adult self-teaching projects. Toronto, Canada: The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Vann, B. A. (1996). Learning self-direction in a social and experiential context. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 7(2), 121-130. doi:10.1002/hrdq.3920070203

84


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 85-95 !

Beyond the Classroom: The Role of Self-Guided Learning in Second Language Listening and Speaking Practice Marion Davis, Georgia State University

Abstract There is a significant difference in most language instruction programs concerning the number of hours students spend practicing reading/writing skills versus listening/speaking skills. The primary cause for this is most likely due to the lack of class time that can be feasibly spent on meaningful conversation exchanges. Thus, the most logical answer is to have students practice outside the classroom. However, the transition from in-class learning to out-of-class practice is often not a very successful one. To address this deficiency and present possible options for creating successful learning environments beyond the classroom, this literature review offers an in-depth analysis of the role that guided learning plays in providing learning experiences for students beyond the classroom. Keywords: SGL, self-guided learning, self-directed learning, self-access learning, and autonomous learning

Language teachers often encounter a common difficulty present in language pedagogy. While it is feasible enough to teach reading and writing skills within the classroom as students can easily study individually, each completing his or her work simultaneously and then reporting back to class, language instruction involving listening and speaking tasks is an entirely different matter. Put simply, there is just not enough time for each student to participate in a meaningful conversation within class due to schedule limitations, resulting in a need for students to often practice outside of class. Yet, from my own teaching experience, I have noted that this instruction to practice outside the confines of the classroom often comes in the form of an occasional reminder from teachers that their students should strive to practice as much as possible with native speakers—an aside from the normal reading- and writing-based homework assignments. However, motivations provided to encourage students to practice outside the classroom seem to be lacking. In fact, in one Canadian study on ESL students’ studying habits, Song (2008) discovered that while students reported spending a substantial number of hours per week developing English-language reading and writing skills, these same students admitted to only !

"#!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 85-95 !

spending forty minutes or less a week outside of the classroom speaking with or listening to native speakers of English. So where then does this deficit lie? Why are students failing to practice listening and speaking skills outside the classroom? The following review of literature will examine an array of studies on guided learning within a variety of research fields in order to determine how exactly language teachers can feasibly use technology tools to provide motivation and guidance outside the classroom for the students to be able to practice within a scaffolded learning environment. The literature reviewed in this article is specifically tailored for the purpose of informing language teachers; however, the studies chosen for this analysis were selected from a wide range of fields, not specifically language pedagogy. Thus, to better represent this expansive selection, the more general term of self-guided learning (SGL) will be implemented to describe all self-directed, self-access, and autonomous learning possibilities. Self-Guided Learning within Modern Pedagogical Approaches Within many teaching approaches, the period of guided instruction often ends when class hours are over. Even students at a lower level of instruction—where a high level of scaffolding is imperative—are typically assigned a vast quantity of self-guided assignments outside the classroom. While SGL seems to be a growing trend within contemporary pedagogical perspectives, in fact, as described in the literature to follow, decades of empirical research have proven that implementing minimally-guided learning assignments when students have very little prior knowledge rarely results in any substantial positive effects. Thus, an increased level of teacher-based guidance is needed from the very beginning in order to help students develop to the point where they have the knowledge and experience to effectively guide their own learning. SGL is often noted as being an appropriate learning approach of the twenty-first century as the open-ended nature of this approach matches the vast quantity of resources available nowadays (e.g. Benson & Chik, 2010). There is a cultural shift within the education field as autonomy is increasingly transferred to students’ self-guided language learning outside the classroom (Benson, 2011). However, there is one caveat to hastily handing over control to students. In a study on informational self-access centers that can be interpreted somewhat as a small-scale representative of the use of the internet in modern education, King (2011) asserts that the provision of “effective support for learners, be it from a classroom teacher or a learning advisor, is critical to the success of self-access learning” (p. 258). The idea for King’s study

!

"#!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 85-95 !

originated primarily from the lack of ESL teachers within the author’s university who were available to provide as much direction as needed; thus, a self-access learning center was introduced, and the university’s language department subsequently sought to determine the best approach to providing scaffolding for these self-directed learning conditions. King (2011) labels his study as a case study, yet it seems to take on more of a mixed methods approach as it progresses, involving a mix of qualitative surveys and quantified responses. Seventeen intermediate-level English language learners from diverse backgrounds were recruited and instructed to complete ten one-page worksheets for a scaffolded self-access portfolio over the course of the sixteen-week language program. This portfolio was not assigned to replace any class work, and it was not mentioned within the classroom. Instead, the completion of this learning tool was entirely up to the student with the only instructional guidance provided being the set of guiding questions on the cover of the portfolio “that promoted learners to reflect on their learning needs and their attitudes to learning outside of the classroom” (King, 2011, p. 259). The one-page worksheets were structured in such a way as to progress from teacher-directed to semi-directed to self-directed with the first tasks being to read a secondlanguage newspaper article and contact a peer tutor, while the final task instruction stated simply to choose any English language activity that the students felt to be most appropriate for their learning needs. At the end of the semester, the majority of the students reported that they had been spending more time studying outside of the classroom for an average increase of 0.14 hours per student. Very few students reported an increased range of activities incorporated within their study habits. However, King (2011) states that the learners—as evident in their responses—were much more aware of the importance of practicing English outside of the classroom. One student even remarked that this practice gave them the chance to use what they had learned only very briefly within the classroom. Teacher-Directed Learning versus Self-Guided Learning Teacher-directed learning is most essential when the learning process involves exposure to an unfamiliar and complex environment (Brydges, Carnahan, Rose, & Dubrowski, 2010; King, 2011; Kornell & Bjork, 2007; Osman, 2012). However, while this seems to be a commonly-accepted fact, how exactly to provide this necessary guidance is a much debated

!

"#!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 85-95 !

topic. The complexities present in guided learning are many and constitute a wide range of varieties, the effectiveness of which is determined by the tasks and learning environments at hand. Both teacher-directed and SGL can have rather severe negative consequences if implemented incorrectly (Brydges et al., 2010). Accordingly, instructors must educate themselves on the variety of guided learning most suitable for the learning task and environment. Brydges et al. (2010) introduce an interesting comparison of terms that helps to describe the different possibilities present within one particular strain of guided learning. Nowadays, SGL is becoming the go-to pedagogical approach, especially within the medical field due to a shortage of staff and the recognition of SGL for its ability to increase the number of students assigned to an educator. However, SGL is a double-edged sword; while students may be able to exert their autonomy in such a way as to prepare them to become life-long learners, current literature on this topic asserts that students “do not necessarily capitalize on learning opportunities when left to their own devices” (Brydges et al., 2010, p. 1833). To take advantage of the positive aspects of both SGL and directed learning, Brydges et al. (2010) developed a concept termed directed self-guided learning (DSGL) where educators use “validated learning principles” to create a scaffolded learning environment where students are “given control of an element of practice and therefore are metacognitively, behaviourally and motivationally active in their learning” (p. 1833). The active component of directed learning and SGL lies in the intensity of the scaffolding provided—more so than who exactly is providing the guidance. If a teacher were to instruct her students simply to do their best, would this vague outcome goal be more effective than students who set step-by-step personal goals to guide themselves through a complex task? In a study within the medical field that compared the learning successes of four groups when completing a complex wound-suturing task—SGL with pre-set process goals, SGL with pre-set outcome goals, teacher-directed learning with pre-set process goals, and teacher-directed learning with pre-set outcome goals—Brydges, Carnahan, Safir, and Dubrowski (2009) found that self-guided participants who adhered to the pre-set process goals “performed better on retention than those whose access to instruction was externally controlled” (p. 512), while their outcome goals counterparts did not experience similar benefits. Those participants in either of the teacherdirected groups did not perform as well on the retention test, the reason for this being identified by Brydges et al. (2009) as the lack of autonomy necessary for students to “tailor knowledge

!

""!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 85-95 !

production to his or her specific needs and may also result in increased motivation” (p. 512). Thus, as long as the learning environment accessed by the students provided sufficient structure—e.g. a learning management system (LMS) with instructional multimedia and structured navigation—the self-guided students were able to efficiently and effectively tailor the curriculum to their own learning needs and use this autonomy to ensure better skill retention (Brydges et al., 2009). Overall, the authors stressed the effectiveness of a learning environment that combined self-guided access with the pre-determination of process goals (Brydges et al., 2009). The findings of this study seem to be somewhat contradictory to Osman (2012), as the participants observed by Brydges et al. (2009) found much more success when self-guiding their learning experiences. However, in some regards, these two studies could be seen as partially complementary of each other, one emphasizing the importance of structured learning in the form of teacher-directed learning and the other emphasizing the importance of structured learning in the form of a directed-LMS with heavy scaffolding and pre-set process goals. Perhaps then, all that is needed to increase the effectiveness of SGL and promote its use as a tool to guide learning outside the classroom is to ensure that students have access to a well-structured learning environment with externally-determined process goals. Providing Scaffolding outside the Classroom Attempting to discover how the use of online learning environments can help provide an easily-accessible form of scaffolding outside the classroom, Ahmadian (2012) sought to determine what online course structure had the greatest effect on students’ “oral production of English articles” as well as the “global complexity and fluency of intermediate EFL learners’ oral language performance” (p. 129). In the author’s study, forty-five intermediate Englishlanguage learners (ELL) were equally separated into three groups: “guided careful online planning, unguided careful online planning, and pressured online planning” (Ahmadian, 2012, p. 129). The students in the pressured online planning group were given general instructions and a time limit for the completion of the assigned task. The students in the unguided careful online planning group were given general instructions and as much time as was needed to complete the task. The guided careful online planning group was also given general task instructions and unlimited time; however, they were given a handout reviewing the language structures being

!

"#!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 85-95 !

learned before commencing the exercise. All students were then required to record a short speech. These narrations were transcribed and coded for “complexity, accuracy, and fluency” (Ahmadian, 2012, p. 139). The narrations were compared across groups with a one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) to determine if the complexity, accuracy, and overall fluency means of each group were significantly different. Ahmadian (2012) indicated that focusing EFL learners’ attention on particular English language structures during the online planning process aids learners in producing more accurate linguistic features while those learners who were required to record their narration within a time limit “tend[ed] to put more premium on the pre-linguistic conceptualization stage and, to some extent, bypass form…in favor of meaning” (Ahmadian, 2012, p. 144). In order to inform the creation of curriculum designed for self-study outside of the classroom, instructors can turn to past research conducted on the use of structured learning tools within the classroom to see what works best and decide how best to convert these to items that can be used to help guide student learning outside of the classroom. In a meta-analysis on the effectiveness of guided notes, Haydon, Mancil, Kroeger, McLeskey, and Lin (2011) reviewed 13 studies in an attempt to examine how effective the use of guided notes is within the classroom. This meta-analysis study was based on past research that “has revealed that if students who struggle academically are to be successful, they need support or scaffolding in taking appropriate notes” (Haydon et al., 2011, p. 226). Overall, the meta-analysis conducted by Haydon et al. (2011) indicated that studying with guided notes typically produced better outcomes than traditional note-taking across the board, resulting—more specifically—in “improved test scores, improved accuracy of note taking, and, at least in one investigation, increased student responses during class” (Haydon et al., 2011, p. 229). These results indicated that guided notes are the perfect scaffolding tool in that they focus students on certain aspects of the lecture or reading content and—in doing so—provide students with an example of the correct approach to create concise and meaningful notes. Using structured learning curriculum as a means of providing scaffolding outside of the classroom is a practice that can be implemented within a wide variety of learning subject areas and task complexity levels. Moore, Kerr, and Hadgraft (2011) acknowledged that experiential learning is a crucial aspect of the learning experience. However, it can be a bit difficult to provide students with real-life pragmatic experiences when limited to the confines of the

!

"#!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 85-95 !

classroom, and large-scale class field trips are often far from practical. To identify a solution to this problem, Moore et al. (2011) sought to determine a framework that would be capable of providing a “safe, active learning experience by way of self-guided field trips that is suitable for implementation with large classes” (p. 107) and identify the elements necessary to support this framework. The prototype developed by Moore et al. (2011) was tested out on an impressive population size of 260 students who visited the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne on their own schedule. In order for the field trip to be successful as a learning experience, the authors determined that students must first be instructed on the subject, reviewing the rationale and “key learning objectives, before setting out to compile the various multimedia components required” (Moore et al., 2011, p. 113). These multimedia components were similar to the voice-guided tour CDs that tourists can buy and listen to as they navigate a historical area. After completing the field trip, the students took an online survey in which they assessed the overall quality of their field trip experience. The majority of the students rated the experience as a positive one, identifying the only major downsides as being a result of logistical problems. Through their examination of the effectiveness of self-guided field trips, Moore et al. (2011) present an interesting perspective on the variety of learning tasks actually possible outside the classroom. Studying habits—for one—are an integral area of the learning process, an area in which students are often ill-equipped. Yet, so often, instructors may automatically assume that their students are capable of employing the correct study habits, correctness possibly being determined by the amount of time spent on each concept to be studied. In one multi-layered study, Kornell and Bjork (2007) evaluated a series of articles to determine which studying habit models are most appropriate for assessing study skill levels, deciding upon the “region of proximal learning (RPL) model of study time allocation, which holds that study choices depend on a person’s goals, which in turn depend on the situation” (p. 219). In a review of their past study a few years before, Kornell and Bjork discussed the effect of externally-imposed studying rules and self-set studying determinations. The study was structured based on a student survey that had revealed that 56% of students are likely to use flashcards when studying and 75% of these will drop flashcards when they believe themselves to be familiar enough with a topic. Was this somewhat instinctual self-determined decision to drop flashcards—in other words, move on once a concept is deemed to be learned—an effective approach to learning? To answer this question, the authors separated an unidentified number of participants randomly and equally into

!

"#!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 85-95 !

two groups. Each group was given 10 minutes to study Swahili vocabulary words using flashcards. One group was allowed to drop flashcards while the other group was not permitted to do so. At the end of these ten minutes, the students were given an assessment to determine how many Swahili vocabulary words they remembered. Those students who were not allowed to drop flashcards had an accuracy rate of 63% as compared to the drop group with an accuracy rate of 59% What Kornell and Bjork (2007) asserted based on their findings was that many students commonly incorporate studying habits that actually have no merit to speak of. In fact, students often rely on their intuition too heavily when encountering seemingly basic learning practices, resulting in a series of bad habits that lead to a lesser level of learning success. To determine what college students do and do not know about correct studying practices, Kornell and Bjork administered a questionnaire to 472 students enrolled in a freshman psychology course at UCLA. The results were somewhat astonishing with only “one in five students…report[ing] having been taught study strategies—and those strategies may not have been optimal” (Kornell & Bjork, 2007, p. 224). Consequently, instructors must take care to determine students’ studying ability, correcting any erroneous practices and adding on to students’ correct study habits skill set. Taking on a more general perspective, Tullis and Benjamin (2011) conducted a quantitative study on students’ ability to pace themselves as they study. Two hundred and thirtyfour freshman psychology students from a local university were each assigned to individual rooms equipped with a single desktop computer. The participants were split up equally in the number of individuals assigned to three groups: self-paced condition, fixed-rate condition, and normative-allotment condition. The first condition allowed students to allot as much time to each study point as necessary. The second condition assigned the same amount of time to each study point. The last condition allocated a certain amount of time in which a concept could be studied based on the statistically-determined difficulty of that particular item. After studying these points, the participants took a short assessment. The self-pacers scored significantly higher than the other two groups while the normative-allotment subjects scored the lowest out of all three groups. These findings can be seen as linking back to the continually-emerging theme that the most effective method of integrating aspects of both SGL and directed learning is to equip students with the framework and learning skills necessary to complete a task in any learning

!

"#!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 85-95 !

environment but let the students fill in the gaps, using their autonomy as the guiding factor so as to tailor their own learning in such a way as to make it more personally meaningful. Conclusion In all, these findings can help to inform the development of language learning tasks and corresponding provided instruction, as well as educator decisions made concerning the development of supporting scaffolded online learning environments. By providing students with a set of guided instructions with process goals to use outside of the classroom, instructors will be able to prepare their students as much as possible for the learning experiences they are likely to encounter. For example, teachers could provide their students with portfolios that instruct their students to interview native English speakers and ask them a set of questions that was prepared in class ahead of time. This allows the students to prepare for the exercise within the classroom under the supervision of the instructor. However, instead of limiting the activity to the confines of the classroom, by requiring students to go and interview individuals as homework, this allows the instructors to incorporate actual conversational English practice into the students’ language studies and yet still provide their students with some sort of scaffolding. Thus, with the provision of enough out-of-class guidance, the intimidating and overwhelming nature of learning outside the classroom becomes much more manageable. With the further development and enhancement of methods for providing a scaffolded online environment, this external guidance can be used as a source of motivation for language students to study outside the classroom, referring to the corresponding directions for navigation as they encounter pragmatic listening and speaking learning experiences within the real world. Notes on the Contributor Marion Davis is an English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) teacher, curriculum designer, and educational technology instructor. She began her career as an adult ESL teacher in Atlanta, Georgia, upon earning her Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics & ESL. Later on, while working as an English language teacher in South Korea, Marion was part of a recruited team of teachers who developed technology-enhanced educational curriculum for elementary students enrolled in a summer school program. To enhance her instructional design skills, she applied to the Instructional Technology Ph.D. program at Georgia State University and began taking online

!

"#!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 85-95 !

courses with the university while still teaching abroad. Upon returning to Atlanta, she has continued to work as an ESL teacher, in addition to resuming her studies at Georgia State University. References Ahmadian, M. (2012). The effects of guided careful online planning on complexity, accuracy and fluency in intermediate EFL learners’ oral production: The case of English articles. Language Teaching Research, 16(1), 129-149. doi:10.1177/1362168811425433 Benson, P. (2011). What’s new in autonomy? The Language Teacher, 35(4), 15-18. Benson, P., & Chik, A. (2010). New literacies and autonomy in foreign language learning. In M. J. Luzón, M. N. Ruiz-Madrid, & M. L. Villanueva (Eds.), Digital genres, new literacies, and autonomy in language learning (pp. 63-80). Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars. Brydges, R., Carnahan, H., Rose, D., & Dubrowski, A. (2010). Comparing self-guided learning and educator-guided learning formats for simulation-based clinical training. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66(8), 1832-1844. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05338.x Brydges, R., Carnahan, H., Safir, O., & Dubrowski, A. (2009). How effective is self-guided learning of clinical technical skills? It’s all about practice. Medical Education, 43(6), 507-515. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2923.2009.03329.x Haydon, T., Mancil, G., Kroeger, S., McLeskey, J., & Lin, W. (2011). A review of the effectiveness of guided notes for students who struggle learning academic content. Preventing School Failure, 55(4), 226-231. doi:10.1080/1045988X.2010.548415 King, C. (2011). Fostering self-directed learning through guided tasks and learner reflection. Studies in Self-access Learning Journal, 2(4), 257-267. Retrieved from http://sisaljournal.org/archives/dec11/king Kornell, N., & Bjork, R. A. (2007). The promise and perils of self-regulated study. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 14(2), 219-224. doi:10.3758/BF03194055 Moore, G., Kerr, R., & Hadgraft, R. (2011). Self-guided field trips for students of environments. European Journal of Engineering Education, 36(2), 107-118. doi:10.1080/03043797.2010.546832 Osman, M. (2012). The effects of self set or externally set goals on learning in an uncertain environment. Learning and Individual Differences, 22(5), 575-584. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2011.09.012

!

"#!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 85-95 !

Song, H. J. (2008). The role of the TOEFL speaking tasks in communicative pre-university EAP classes: East Asian students’ and teachers’ perspectives (Master’s thesis). Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. Retrieved from http://spectrum.library.concordia.ca/975771/1/MR40800.pdf Tullis, J. G., & Benjamin, A. S. (2011). On the effectiveness of self-paced learning. Journal of Memory and Language, 64(2), 109-118. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2010.11.002

!

"#!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 96-124 !

A Move Towards Autonomy: Individualized Education Plans for Effective Materials Use Kenneth Cranker, University of Delaware English Language Institute, USA Nicole Servais, University of Delaware English Language Institute, USA

Abstract Over the past twenty years, self-access learning centers have faced challenges related to accessibility of materials and the fostering of autonomy. There has also been progress towards meeting those challenges, such as Brigham Young University’s web-based database for searching SAC materials and linking curriculum to SAC materials (McMurry, Tanner, & Anderson, 2010). Following that example and developing it further, the University of Delaware developed a system called the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that includes but goes beyond a Course Objectives Database (COD) similar to that of Brigham Young University. The COD alone was rather ineffective, but when the COD was combined with website resources and learner surveys modeled on Gardner and Miller (1999), the IEP emerged. A step-by-step guide to creating IEPs for use in other self-access environments is provided along with model forms. Finally, the results of informal surveys suggest that autonomous and goal-oriented learning might have been fostered by the use of IEPs. Keywords: SAC, materials use, education plans, websites, database, autonomy

A Brief History of Self-Access Centers The first SAC was developed by Centre de Recherches et d’Applications Pédagogiques en Langues in France (Gremmo & Riley, 1995), and SACs have since gained popularity and stature especially since the 1990s. Recently, noteworthy descriptions of SACs and SAC research have appeared from diverse locations such as Japan (Cooker, 2010; Thompson & Atkinson, 2010), Mexico (Valdivia, McLoughlin, & Mynard, 2011; Westwood, 2012), Canada (Westwood, 2012), New Zealand (King, 2011), Hong Kong (Morrison, 2011), and the United States (McMurry, Tanner, & Anderson, 2010), to name a few. Cooker (2010) implies that the recent spread of SACs is due to the influence of Gardner and Miller’s (1999) guide to establishing and developing such centers. These centers have evolved and developed greatly over the past 15 years in terms of materials, integration into curricula, types of motivation, and effectiveness !

"#!


(Gardner & Miller, 2010). Goals of SACs include promoting autonomous learning, supporting classroom learning, and supplementing classroom learning by exposing learners to a wide variety and extensive amount of rich, authentic, interesting and enjoyable materials (Tomlinson, 2010). The first two goals can be contradictory to some degree, as it is entirely possible for students’ personal learning goals to differ greatly from what is taught in the classroom, and for class work to interrupt a student’s learning cycle in the SAC (Cotterall & Reinders, 2001). Thus, self-access is often a compromise ranging from teacher-directed homework to “projects” (Thompson & Atkinson, 2010) to fully autonomous learning (Jones, 1998). Despite this acknowledged compromise, SAC researchers are calling for integration into or linkage of SAC study with the classroom (Cotterall & Reinders, 2001; Gardner & Miller, 1999), and recent reports have described attempts to do so (McMurry, Tanner, & Anderson, 2010; Thompson & Atkinson, 2010). Thompson and Atkinson (2010) outlined attempts made to link their curriculum and the SALC at the Bunkyo English Communication Center (BECC). In this case, links were made through the implementation of extension activities and projects. The extension activities were meant to connect classroom studies to the SALC, whereas projects were meant to encourage the use of the SALC as a place for research without explicitly requiring students to go there. They found that the experiment was successful in encouraging use of the SALC; however, they noted that “more users [of the SALC] does not equal more autonomous learners” (p. 55). It was also noted that further research was needed to clarify whether opportunities for curricular links helped develop autonomy and also whether motivation and personal initiative increased as a result of curricular ties. McMurry, Tanner and Anderson (2010) report the creation of a Self-Access Center website and database at Brigham Young University (BYU) that contains objectives specific to skill area and proficiency level along with SAC materials that can be selected for each objective, but they do not indicate how another SAC could create one of its own. They also report data based on pre-database and post-database surveys that seem to indicate a trend toward increased autonomy, or at least a decrease in the number of students who use their SAC because it is required by a teacher. However, their data with respect to autonomy are not entirely clear, and they state that “the database and Web page were useful, but no direct connection between them and center use could be made” (p. 110).

!

"#!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 96-124 !

As evidenced in Thompson and Atkinson (2010) and Aldred and Williams (2000), students may react in different ways to the vast amount of materials that a SAC provides. Reactions can range from simple indecision to anxiety over their inability to locate materials. The sheer amount of presented materials can be particularly overwhelming for students at the lower levels, as they are not only faced with a large number of materials but a potential language barrier in asking for help to locate materials. Background of the ELI at University of Delaware SALC The University of Delaware (UD) English Language Institute (ELI) Self-Access Learning Center (SALC) has created a Course Objectives Database (COD) similar to the BYU SAC database. The COD was supplemented with a website that links objectives to SALC materials and internet websites as part of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) system. This system is similar to iLang at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Center for Language Education, 2013), which also links SALC materials to broad objectives, but at UD the objectives are specific to course levels and narrow course objectives. The use of IEP in this instance should not be confused with the IEPs related to K-12 education and special education in the United States. The remainder of this article will outline the evolution of the IEP system. Additionally, for those who wish to implement the system in their own SAC, this paper will provide an overview of how this might occur. Finally, the results of informal surveys regarding SALC use will also be presented and discussed. In the time frame during which the IEPs emerged, the population of the ELI at UD consisted of students speaking the native languages shown in Table 1.

!

"#!


Table 1. Languages Spoken at the ELI – Baseline Data At the beginning of the trial period

At the end of the trial period

Chinese

33%

31%

Arabic

19%

33%

Korean

15%

11%

Japanese

7%

10%

Spanish

5%

4%

21%

11%

Other languages

The Role of Autonomy Autonomy and knowledge of one’s own learning style are generally considered necessary for successful SAC use. Reinders (2010) reported four phases of autonomous learning: defining tasks, setting goals, enacting study tactics and adapting future study based on observations and reflection. While the University of Delaware ELI’s IEP system incorporates some of these concepts, it does not at this time rely on learner input to determine objectives, but rather balances courserelated objectives with student goals and reflection. Students choose from a list of course objectives and the range and scope of objectives is thereby limited only to items covered in ELI classes. The goal-setting phase allows for more individual choice; students are instructed to set goals for themselves for each week as well as for the session as a whole. Study tactics are not generally addressed, although students are guided to online learning styles surveys as well as online study skills training through a series of links. Adapting future study is a collaborative process between the individual student and the SALC staff that occurs during individually scheduled meetings. Students are encouraged to assess progress made on their goals at the end of the academic session and use that self-assessment to create an IEP for the following session (though the pre-existing list of course objectives is still the main basis of goal-setting). Finally, SALC staff at the ELI recognized that students would first need a transition period in which to begin examining how to learn (Thompson & Atkinson, 2010). This transition period, in which autonomy and metacognition are directly or indirectly introduced as skills, is ongoing, and the SALC staff sees the development of a completely autonomous system of

!

""!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 96-124 !

materials selection as a long-term goal, perhaps even a goal that will never be completely accomplished since the average student at the ELI studies for approximately one year. Thus, with a one-year turnover, the SALC would need a consistent cycle of scaffolded work in autonomy and metacognition. Course Objectives Database Preceding the introduction of the IEP system, the SALC created the COD. The COD was essentially a spreadsheet that combined the listed objectives for each course at the ELI with a quick list of the available resources in the SALC matching the objectives. These objectives were pulled from the course syllabi. The objectives were broken down into two separate “pages” within the database - Listening/Speaking and Reading/Writing. Within the Listening/Speaking page, the objectives were further broken down into subcategories for Listening, Speaking, Pronunciation and Vocabulary. Within the Reading/Writing page, the objectives were broken down into the subcategories Reading, Grammar and Writing. For each objective the following information was provided: a link to an external website to practice the objective, a list of the software programs available in the SALC addressing that objective, and a list of books and other materials that were available to practice the objective. (See Appendix A for an example page from the COD.) Ultimately, this system proved disadvantageous for several reasons. First, curricula shift over time, rendering COD/syllabus links obsolete. Second, it is only possible to create one hyperlink within a cell in the Google Docs version of Excel used in the SALC. While additional cells could have been added, this would potentially have resulted in a spreadsheet containing many individual entries, which would have been difficult for users to navigate, thereby negating the intended purpose of the COD. Additionally, SALC users did not have a simple way to reference the objectives that they wanted to practice without writing down the resources on a separate sheet of paper, and the URLs for the links were not easy to locate without background knowledge of Excel. Hyperlinks were attached to descriptions, masking the URLs; that is, students could not see the URLs in the database without knowing how to unmask them. The COD’s format proved to be unwieldy and not user-friendly. In fact, in tracking usage patterns with Google Analytics, the COD page on the

!

"##!


SALC website received only ten unique hits in a one-month period, versus the 870 unique hits on the SALC homepage. While the COD intended to make materials more accessible, it did not succeed. Individualized Education Plans - Phase I IEPs were constructed with the idea of matching students by level and objective with the best materials in the SALC. The original IEP forms are included in Appendices B and C and were based heavily on Gardner and Miller’s (1999) Learner Profiles. There were two versions of the form. One was primarily for teachers who wanted to refer students to the SALC to practice certain objectives outside of class time (Appendix B); the other was for students who came to the SALC of their own accord for additional practice (Appendix C). Once one of the two initial forms was completed and brought to the SALC by either the student or teacher, students were asked to sign up for an appointment time 24 hours in advance. This gave the SALC staff 24 hours to create an individualized plan for the student based upon expressed educational goals or the areas of work indicated by teachers. The original iteration of the IEP allowed for two modes of direction: self-directed study and teacher-directed study. These two modes would suit students who had a low degree of autonomy and were perhaps not intrinsically motivated to study on their own, as well as students who had a high degree of autonomy and were more intrinsically motivated towards self-study. IEP Phase I Results In the first iteration of the IEP (Appendices B and C), the forms were filled out in the following percentages: 32% teacher-generated and 68% student-generated out of a total number of 52 forms over a 6-month period. This result differed from the SALC’s expectations; in fact, it was expected that more IEP forms would have been teacher-generated in the initial phase of implementation. There are external factors that may have contributed to the higher percentage of student-generated forms. First, it seems likely that teachers were generating more forms and distributing them to their students in the classroom, but the students did not follow through by coming to the SALC with the teacher-generated plan. Second, the paper-based original format of the IEPs constituted a time commitment for a teacher, who would need to find the form, print it, and fill it out for each student’s specific needs. However, students who entered the SALC for !

"#"!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 96-124 !

other reasons initially (e-mail, printing) could easily have spotted the education plans and filled one out without a significant amount of effort. A high percentage of IEPs were also completed immediately following SALC orientation for new students. Students were introduced to the concept of the IEP during their scheduled orientation and often filled out a plan before leaving the initial orientation session. The orientation session essentially created a “captive audience� for the IEPs. It must also be noted that, although the orientation is listed as required for new students, it is typical for primarily the most motivated students to attend the orientation as attendance is not taken and there is no accountability for this attendance. This tendency resulted in an artificially high number of IEPs being completed for this group. Compared to the general student population of the ELI at this time, the IEP forms were filled out in differing percentages as outlined in the chart below. It can be noted that Chinese speakers appeared to fill out fewer IEP forms than may have been expected based on the relatively large Chinese population at the ELI, while Spanish and Arabic speakers filled out more IEP forms than may have been expected relative to their populations. The difference in percentage of Japanese speakers who filled out IEP forms was due to a special program that required IEPs. Table 2. Languages Spoken at the ELI Compared to IEP Forms – Phase I ELI percentage Chinese

33%

13%

Arabic

19%

39%

Korean

15%

7%

Japanese

7%

24%

Spanish

5%

15%

21%

3%

Other languages

!

IEP forms percentage

"#$!


IEPs - Phase II After several eight-week sessions of using paper versions of the IEPs, the SALC staff decided to move the forms online in order to reduce the amount of paper waste and facilitate teacher access to the forms. Additionally, the online form had built-in logic that “tracked” students into two different surveys based upon their level (Appendix E). Students in levels I-III (beginner – lower intermediate) received a simplified survey and students in levels IV-VI (high intermediate – high advanced) received a more detailed questionnaire. Students were also asked to enter their email twice at the end of the survey to indicate that they would follow through to make an appointment with SALC staff. The process of making appointments also moved online, and students were directed to a link at the end of the survey, which allowed them to directly email the SALC coordinator (co-author Servais) to schedule an appointment. The purpose of these extra steps was to reduce the number of no-shows. Compared to the general student population of the ELI during Phase II, the IEP forms were filled out in different percentages, as outlined in the chart below. Again it may be noted that Chinese speakers appeared to fill out fewer IEP forms than may be expected, while Spanish and Korean speakers filled out more IEP forms than might have been expected. Zero forms were filled out by Japanese speakers because the special group program had ended. Table 3. Languages Spoken at the ELI Compared to IEP Forms – Phase II ELI percentage Chinese

31%

16%

Arabic

33%

25%

Korean

11%

25%

Japanese

10%

0%

Spanish

4%

16%

10%

18%

Other languages

!

IEP forms percentage

"#$!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 96-124 !

Phase I and II - Observed Results In this second iteration of the IEP, there was a major change from the paper version. Following Phase II, the surveys were filled out in the following percentages: 72% teachergenerated and 28% student-generated with a total of 56 surveys completed over a 6-month period. Students were made aware of the change from paper to electronic IEPs through orientation and personal communication; teachers received an email update including the new IEP information. Despite the apparent lack of use of the COD and the increasing amount of time required to complete IEPs, the general consensus among ELI faculty (gathered during brainstorming and evaluation sessions at faculty retreats when a large majority of the full-time faculty were present) was that IEPs as a whole were quite successful. Anecdotal evidence gathered via an email questionnaire from the 5-6 teachers that most frequently used IEPs since their inception in 2011 suggested that teachers found the IEPs useful on several fronts. Questionnaire respondents noted that the IEPs helped teachers “be more intentional in sending students to do independent work and identifying weak areas to be addressed” and “point the students to [more] specific skills and micro-skills.” Additionally, several teachers felt “reasonable assurance” that students would go to the SALC “at least once,” unlike the situation prior to the creation of the IEPs when teachers felt that there was “less assurance that the students would go.” Teachers also seemed to find the implied formality of a paper or electronic form useful in heightening student perception of the importance of the task. Furthermore, after successful IEP use was reported in the email questionnaire, more teachers wanted to recommend IEPs to their students. Some teachers also indicated that they had built SALC work into their graded assessments for their courses, thereby making independent study in the SALC mandatory. This presented a conflict with the underlying principles of selfaccess learning, but as noted in Thompson and Atkinson (2010), teacher-directed use of an SALC can be beneficial in promoting the initial use of the center. Also problematic was the fact that the SALC was already suffering from a time constraint in preparing the IEPs that were being completed each session. On average, if each IEP took approximately 30 minutes to complete and approximately 50 IEPs were created each session, that represented 1500 minutes (or 25 hours) of work on IEPs every six weeks. At the ELI, only one staff member was dedicated to the completion of the initial phase of the IEPs (matching student goals with resources) and two to three staff members were available for the IEP follow-

!

"#$!


up meeting in which students were shown how to locate the resources within the SALC. An instruction sheet on completing IEP forms for students was created (Appendix D), but it was ultimately inefficient in its intended purpose of redistributing the workload. Based on discussions at faculty meetings, more teachers wanted to consider using IEPs and including them as graded assessments for their class. With the system as it stood, this would have been logistically impossible. Over the course of several sessions, the SALC coordinator had also noticed that many of the best and most useful resources were repeatedly recommended, and, in a sense, creating an individual IEP for different students who were at the same level in the same class was a bit like reinventing the wheel. Past plans for students at the same level could have been (and certainly were) referenced in preparing the new plans, but this was still quite an inefficient use of time. Beyond this, since only one person (the SALC coordinator) was aware of all the possible resources that could be used and referenced, the system ground to a standstill when the coordinator was engaged in other work duties. The most feasible solution beginning to emerge was that all the information about available resources needed to be gathered, sorted, compiled and reported so that any SALC staff member or ELI teacher could generate an IEP for a student. The known resources were located in several places, including the COD, the links section of the SALC website, and IEPs that had been generated in previous sessions. Transition to Phase III After gathering and sorting the necessary resources, a method of organization was not immediately evident. The COD, for example, had all the objectives for all levels listed on one page of a spreadsheet. When adding in multiple links and resources, it would have been possible to have the sheet for Listening/Speaking consist of over 500 spreadsheet rows. This would have proven difficult to navigate, particularly for students at lower levels. Meanwhile the online survey, which included if/then logic and could have helped to narrow down the level and skill area, would have been difficult to link to an outside source like a Google Document with the list of resources. Ultimately, the decision was made to house the “logic” portion of the IEP process on the SALC website as a series of linking web pages. The “logic” looked something like this: !

"#$!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 96-124 !

Figure 1. IEP Logic Housed on Website Each objective was linked to at least one website or locally housed resource. A total of 212 unique objectives were identified. Objectives were compared within a level in order to make navigation simpler. For example, if at Level VI Listening/Speaking there were six different courses such as English as an International Language, Drama, or EAP VI, the objectives were compared across the level and a single logic chain was created for that level. Measured Results of IEP Phases I – III Over a period of approximately twelve months, a survey about SALC usage was made available as a link on the SALC homepage. The link was part of a rotating display of several other images, so it may or may not have been visible on a random visit to the SALC homepage. In addition, the survey was not advertised beyond this link, nor was it required of students. In spite of the non-compulsory nature of the survey, a total of 80 participants anonymously and voluntarily filled out the survey after following the link. Below are the results of the survey, divided into two sections: responses collected prior to the implementation of the IEP system (approximately a six-month period), and responses collected after the implementation of the IEP system (approximately a six-month period). The numbers of responses at the beginning of the trial were not equal to the numbers at the end of the trial, so while percentages may increase, numbers may decrease. Because the surveys were anonymous, it is not known whether any individual repeated the survey, though there is no reason to believe any individual did so. The

!

"#$!


level/nationality of the respondents is also not known. Though the data set was small and procedures were not rigorously controlled, the trends seen in the data are similar to trends that were reported at BYU. Our data also suggest that further research may find links between the use of IEPs or a course database system and increased autonomy, the goal of SACs. Table 4. Frequency of SALC Use Beginning of trial

End of trial

1 x per month

5 (14%)

1 (4%)

2-3 x per month

0 (0%)

5 (21%)

4 (11%)

0 (0%)

2-3 x per week

15 (42%)

13 (54%)

Daily

12 (33%)

5 (21%)

1 x per week

Students were asked about the frequency of their visits to the SALC. No significant change in frequency of use was noted after the introduction of the IEP. This may be because student schedules and overall amount of available time did not change.

!

"#$!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 96-124 !

Table 5. SALC Activities Beginning of trial Autonomous Learning Teacherdirected learning

Common computer use

End of trial

Studying

5 (14%)

4 (17%)

Learning English

5 (14%)

8 (35%)

Homework

6 (16%)

2 (9%)

1 (3%)

0 (0%)

Printing

6 (16%)

2 (9%)

Email

6 (16%)

2 (9%)

Facebook/IM

3 (8%)

1 (4%)

Socializing with friends

2 (5%)

1 (4%)

Typing/Word processing

2 (5%)

1 (4%)

Waiting for tutor

1 (3%)

2 (9%)

Teacher-directed work

In this question, students were also asked to identify the main purpose for which they came to the SALC from a list of options. After the introduction of the IEP, increases were noted in autonomous/self-directed language learning uses of the SALC (studying and learning English). Conversely, teacher directed activities and common computer usage decreased over the same time period. This trend is similar to that reported by McMurry, Tanner and Anderson (2010). Table 6. SALC Website Awareness Beginning of trial Yes, I am aware of the SALC website. No, I am not aware of the SALC website.

!

"#$!

End of trial

31 (82%)

20 (83%)

7 (18%)

4 (17%)


Students were asked if they were aware of the existence of the SALC homepage and website. Awareness remained unchanged before and after IEP introduction, likely because the SALC website was set as the homepage on all SALC computers for that entire time frame. Table 7. SALC Website Use Beginning of trial

End of trial

Yes, I have used the SALC website.

17 (63%)

17 (80%)

No, I have not used it.

10 (37%)

4 (20%)

While awareness of the existence of the website was unchanged, students’ use of the website for language learning purposes seems to have increased after the introduction of the IEPs. Table 8. SALC Software Use Beginning of trial Yes, I have used software in the SALC.

14 (39%)

No, I have not used any software in the SALC.

22 (61%)

End of trial 14 (58%) 10 (42%)

Students were asked if they had used software in the SALC for the purpose of improving their English. The percentage of SALC users who used language-learning software seems to have increased over the course of the trial. Table 9. SALC Leveled Reading Materials Beginning of trial

End of trial

Yes, I have checked out a leveled reader.

25 (72%)

20 (83%)

No, I have not checked out a leveled reader.

10 (28%)

4 (17%)

!

"#$!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 96-124 !

Students were asked if they had checked out a leveled reader from the SALC at any time. These numbers suggest that checkouts of reading materials increased over the trial period. Table 10. Purpose for Leveled Reading Materials Beginning of trial

End of trial

Teacher directed reading

10 (42%)

6 (33%)

Independent reading

14 (58%)

13 (67%)

Students were also asked the reason for checking out a book. Four options were provided: Teacher assigned, I enjoy reading, I wanted to learn vocabulary, and I saw the books and was interested. Before the trial period, slightly less than half of the survey respondents indicated that their teacher directed them to the leveled readers. During the trial period, there was an increase in the amount of independent reading. No major conclusions can be drawn, but more study may reveal an increase in autonomy. Table 11. Reading Goals Beginning of trial Enjoyment of reading General Interest Increase vocabulary

End of trial

10 (85%)

6 (46%)

0 (0%)

2 (8%)

3 (15%)

6 (46%)

Additionally, it appears that students developed more specific goals related to reading after the IEPs were introduced. While “enjoyment” could be seen as an unfocused objective related to prior modes of behavior, increasing vocabulary can be seen as a focused objective related specifically to language acquisition. In this way, it appears that students may have become more aware of their learning processes and goals after using the IEP. Implications Informal results, anecdotal reporting and observation seem to indicate that the IEPs were “successful” to some degree, particularly in encouraging more self-directed behaviors and use of !

""#!


the SALC for its intended purpose. It also seems that the IEP served as a “pathway” (Thompson & Atkinson, 2010) from the classroom to the SALC for several reasons. First, teachers were able to send students who may not have been intrinsically motivated to study in the SALC for work on specific goals and objectives related to their course, thereby getting “reluctant” independent learners to take the first step toward working independently in the SALC. Second, learners had a method for opening discussion with SALC staff. Third, the IEP allowed for a simple way to introduce learners to a limited number of materials that would be suited to their level and purpose, thereby reducing the overwhelming effect that SALCs can sometimes have on new users (Thompson & Atkinson, 2010). Although the data was informally gathered and no strong conclusions can be drawn, the data suggest that future study might reveal a link between IEPs and increased autonomy and independent learning. Future Areas of Research It should be noted that teacher anecdotes frequently revealed the necessity for a (simple) means of follow-up between SALC staff and teachers about the individual students who were assigned teacher-directed IEPs. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, there is no method for reporting this information currently. One possible future area of research would be an examination of what occurs when student use of the IEP/SALC is clearly reported back to the referring teacher on a consistent and regular basis. While this feedback loop may reduce the amount of autonomy, it is arguable that students who are teacher-referred may have learning gaps that should be addressed before a significant effort is made to develop their autonomy and metacognition skills. Additionally, since the two surveys at BYU and UD produced varied and inconclusive results, and because UD’s informal survey’s total numbers were relatively small, a third reporting of results after the implementation of an online database/IEP would be beneficial.

!

"""!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 96-124 !

Notes on the contributors Kenneth Cranker is a former Self-Access Learning Center Coordinator and is currently a fulltime faculty member at the University of Delaware English Language Institute, teaching primarily English for Academic Purposes. Nicole Servais is the Self-Access Learning Center Coordinator and an instructor at the University of Delaware English Language Institute. References Aldred, D., & Williams, G. (2000). The need for a focused approach: A case study. Links & Letters, 7, 81-93. Center for Language Education. (2013). iLang: The informal curriculum for language learning. Retrieved from http://ilang.cle.ust.hk/ Cooker, L. (2010). Some self-access principles. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 1(1), 59. Retrieved from http://sisaljournal.org/archives/jun10/cooker/ Cotterall, S., & Reinders, H. (2001). Fortress or bridge? Learners’ perceptions and practice in self access language learning. TESOLANZ, 8, 23-38. Gardner, D., & Miller, L. (1999). Establishing self-access: From theory to practice. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Gardner, D., & Miller, L. (2010). Beliefs about self-access learning: Reflections on 15 years of change. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 1(3), 161-172. Retrieved from http://sisaljournal.org/archives/dec10/gardner_miller/ Gremmo, M.-J., & Riley, P. (1995). Autonomy, self-direction and self access in language teaching and learning: The history of an idea. System, 23(2), 151-164. doi:10.1016/0346-251X(95)00002-2 Jones, F. R. (1998). Self-instruction and success: A learner-profile study. Applied Linguistics, 19(3), 378-406. doi:10.1093/applin/19.3.378 King, C. (2011). Fostering self-directed learning through guided tasks and learner reflection. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 2(4), 257-267. Retrieved from http://sisaljournal.org/archives/dec11/king/

!

""#!


McMurry, B. L., Tanner, M. W., & Anderson, N. J. (2010). Self-access centers: Maximizing learners’ access to center resources. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 1(2), 100114. Retrieved from http://sisaljournal.org/archives/sep10/mcmurry_tanner_anderson/ Morrison, B. (2011). A framework for the evaluation of a self-access language learning centre. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 2(4), 241-256. http://sisaljournal.org/archives/dec11/morrison/ Reinders, H. (2010). Towards a classroom pedagogy for learner autonomy: A framework of independent language learning skills. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 35(5), 40-55. Retrieved from http://ro.ecu.edu.au/ajte/vol35/iss5/ Thompson, G., & Atkinson, L. (2010). Integrating self-access into the curriculum: Our experience. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 1(1), 47-58. Retrieved from http://sisaljournal.org/archives/jun10/thompson_atkinson/ Tomlinson, B. (2010). Principles and procedures for self-access materials. Studies in SelfAccess Learning Journal, 1(2), 72-86. Retrieved from http://sisaljournal.org/archives/sep10/tomlinson/ Valdivia, S., McLoughlin, D., & Mynard, J. (2011). The importance of affective factors in selfaccess learning courses. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 2(2), 91-96. Retrieved from http://sisaljournal.org/archives/jun11/valdivia_mcloughlin_mynard/ Westwood, G. (2012). Investigating the information needs of university students in foundational foreign language courses. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 3(2), 149-162. Retrieved from http://sisaljournal.org/archives/jun12/westwood/

!

""#!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 96-124 !

Appendices Appendix A Sample View of Course Objectives Database

Key: IS = Level I Speaking IL = Level I Listening IP = Level I Pronunciation IIL = Level II Listening

!

""#!


Appendix B Individualized Education Plan with Teacher Guidance Student Name: ________________________________________________________________ Referring Teacher/Class: ________________________________________________________ This student needs extra practice in the following skill area(s): Listening Speaking

______ ______

Reading Writing Grammar

_______ _______ _______

List up to three specific course objectives with which this student needs assistance: 1. 2. 3.

_________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ Individualized Education Plan – Student Reflection

Before you work: How much time each week do you think it will take you to reach your learning goals? ________ hours Which days are best for you to work in the SALC? Circle all that apply. Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Which times are best for you to work in the SALC? Circle all that apply. 11 AM

12 PM

1PM

2 PM

3 PM

Do you clearly understand what your teacher would like you to work on?

4 PM

5 PM Yes

No

If you circled no, please go back to your teacher and ask for more instructions before you continue. Find a program, website, or other resource in the SALC that allows you to practice the objectives. Ask for help.

!

""#!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 96-124 ! As you work: Keep track of your time spent on your goals. The SALC advises you to meet weekly with your teacher to discuss your progress. Week/Day

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 After you work: Do you feel that you met your goals this session?

Yes

No

Were you happy with your performance overall?

Yes

No

Were there enough resources available to help you meet your goal?

!

""#!

Yes

No


Appendix C Student Learning Survey and Individualized Education Plan Name: __________________________________________ Current L/S Level: ________________________________

Date: _____________________________ Current R/W level: __________________

Before you work: Use the following key to complete the table below:

I am very good at this. I am OK at this. I need to practice this.

:) ! :(

Subject

Rating

Listening and understanding general conversation Listening and understanding lectures Listening and understanding telephone conversations Listening and understanding television/radio/movies Listening and understanding songs Speaking about general topics Speaking with correct pronunciation Reading and understanding novels Reading and understanding academic texts Reading and understanding newspapers and magazines Writing academic papers Writing complete sentences Writing detailed paragraphs Using correct verb tenses Using clauses correctly Using correct punctuation (commas, periods, etc.) Overall grammar Understanding new vocabulary Using new vocabulary

!

""#!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 96-124 ! From the list above, choose 3 things that you would like to practice. 1. _________________________________________________________________________ 2. _________________________________________________________________________ 3. _________________________________________________________________________ How much time each week do you think it will take you to reach your learning goals? ________ hours Which days are best for you to work in the SALC? Circle all that apply. Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Which times are best for you to work in the SALC? Circle all that apply. 11 AM

12 PM

1PM

2 PM

3 PM

4 PM

5 PM

Choose the statement that best tells about you. 1. I can work on my own without a lot of help. 2. I need someone to check in with me once a week to see how I am doing. 3. I need someone to check in with me every day to see how I am doing. 4. I need specific, exact instructions on what to do each day. 5. I don’t feel I can work on my own; I plan to do these activities with my tutor. Now, bring your paper to the desk for a signature and a short meeting. Student signature: ______________________________________________________ SALC signature:

______________________________________________________

As you work: Keep track of your time spent on your goals. Week/Day

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 After you work: Let’s look again at the 3 things you decided to work on this session. Did you improve in each of those areas? Goal 1: Yes No Goal 2: Yes No Goal 3: Yes No

!

""#!


Do you feel that you met your goals this session?

Yes

No

If no, why do you think you did not meet your goals? I did not meet my goals because _________________________________________________________. Were you happy with your performance overall?

Yes

Were there enough resources available to help you meet your goal?

No Yes

No

At the end of the session, please sign off on your plan. We will keep it on file in the SALC for six months. Student signature: ______________________________________________ Date: ________________

Appendix D Filling out an IEP Form with a Student 1) Give the self-check form to the student. Ask them to fill it out and give it back to you. If they come with a teacher referral IEP, keep the form. 2) Schedule them for an appointment the next day so you have 24 hours to check the IEP and come up with an appropriate list of resources. 3) Identify the 3 goals the student has (or that the teacher has identified for the student). If the goal is extremely general from the teacher, contact the teacher to ask clarifying questions. (For example, if the sheet just says “Grammar” ask what types of grammar issues the student is having. Sometimes they will say “all” and that’s fine, but it helps to have as many specifics as possible.) 4) Search the following resources to identify the best resources for the student in the order listed below: a. First: Programs in the SALC. Go to the Get Started page of the website to see a list of programs and click on the program to get a description. Alternatively, look through the SALC handbook for program descriptions and information. http://sites.google.com/site/elidesalc/get-started b.

Second: Websites that are referenced on the Links pages of the SALC website.

c. Third: Websites that are referenced in the Course Objectives database on the SALC website. d. Fourth: Practice items generated with a Google search for the student’s specific skill area request 5) Generally, I list 2 resources for each skill. At least ONE resource on the list should be located in the SALC (not only on the Internet) because we want to try to ensure that the students are coming into the SALC at least occasionally to check in and update their plans.

!

""#!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 96-124 !

6) If any programs require passwords or special information, write that on the inside of the folder (Footprint readers, Active Reading) 7)

Make a folder with the student’s name: Last Name, First name

8) When the student comes in for their appointment, show them the programs and websites that you have written down on the IEP form. If the IEP contains many links to Internet sites, you might consider making a second copy for them to take home, or suggesting that they take a picture of the sites with their phone/camera to access later. 9)

When you see the student, ask how the programs are working for them.

!

"#$!


Appendix E Online IEP Survey (Including Logic) Q1 What is your (the student's) full name? Q2 Did your teacher send you? Or did you come on your own? ! My teacher sent me (1) ! I wanted to come (2) If I wanted to come Is Selected, Then Skip To Q4 (What is your L/S Level?) If My teacher sent me Is Selected, Then Skip To Q3 (What is your teacher's name and the n...) Q3 What is your teacher's name and the name of your class? Teacher Name (1) Class Name (2) If Teacher Name Is Displayed, Then Skip To Q8 (What did your teacher say you need to...) Q4 What is your L/S Level? ! L/S I (1) ! L/S II (2) ! L/S III (3) ! L/S IV (4) ! L/S V (5) ! L/S EAPV (6) ! L/S VI (7) ! L/S EAPVI (8) ! BASIC (9) Q5 What is your R/W level? ! BASIC (1) ! R/W I (2) ! R/W II (3) ! R/W III (4) ! R/W IV (5) ! R/W V (6) ! R/W EAP V (7) ! R/W VI (8) ! R/W EAP VI (9) If BASIC, R/W I, R/W II, or R/W III Is Selected, Then Skip To Q 6 (What are you good at? What do you nee...) If R/W IV, R/W V, R/W/ EAP V, R/W VI OR R/W EAPVI Is Selected, Then Skip To Q7 (Look at the following inventory of sk...)

!

"#"!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 96-124 !

Q6 What are you good at? What do you need to work on? (Drag and drop) I am very good at this - I do not need practice

I am OK at this - I might need practice

______ Listening (1)

I need help with this and want to practice it this session

______ Listening

______ Listening (1)

______ Speaking

______ Speaking (2)

______ Grammar

______ Grammar (3)

______ Reading

______ Reading (4)

(1) ______ Speaking (2) (2) ______ Grammar (3) (3) ______ Reading (4) (4) ______ Vocabulary (5)

______ Vocabulary (5)

______ Vocabulary (5)

Read Rank, then skip to Q11 (How much time per week...) Q7 Look at the following inventory of skills and decide where you need the most practice I am quite good at this - No Practice Required

I am OK at this - I need some practice

I need to work on this - I want to practice it this session

______ Listening and Understanding General Conversation (1)

______ Listening and Understanding General Conversation (1)

______ Listening and Understanding General Conversation (1)

______ Listening and Understanding Lectures (2)

______ Listening and Understanding Lectures (2)

______ Listening and Understanding Lectures (2)

______ Listening and Understanding Telephone Conversations (3)

______ Listening and Understanding Telephone Conversations (3)

______ Listening and Understanding Telephone Conversations (3)

______ Listening and Understanding TV/Radio/Movies (4)

______ Listening and Understanding TV/Radio/Movies (4)

______ Listening and Understanding TV/Radio/Movies (4)

______ Listening and understanding Songs (5)

______ Listening and understanding Songs (5)

______ Listening and understanding Songs (5)

______ Speaking about General Topics (6)

______ Speaking about General Topics (6)

______ Speaking about General Topics (6)

______ Speaking with Correct Pronunciation (7)

______ Speaking with Correct Pronunciation (7)

______ Speaking with Correct Pronunciation (7)

______ Reading and Understanding Fiction (8)

______ Reading and Understanding Fiction (8)

______ Reading and Understanding Fiction (8)

!

"##!


______ Reading and Understanding Academic Texts (9)

______ Reading and Understanding Academic Texts (9)

______ Reading and Understanding Academic Texts (9)

______ Reading and Understanding Newspapers and Magazines (10)

______ Reading and Understanding Newspapers and Magazines (10)

______ Reading and Understanding Newspapers and Magazines (10)

______ Writing complete sentences (11)

______ Writing complete sentences (11)

______ Writing complete sentences (11)

______ Writing detailed paragraphs (12)

______ Writing detailed paragraphs (12)

______ Writing detailed paragraphs (12)

______ Using correct verb tenses (13)

______ Using correct verb tenses (13)

______ Using correct verb tenses (13)

______ Using clauses correctly (14)

______ Using clauses correctly (14)

______ Using clauses correctly (14)

______ Using correct punctuation (commas, periods, etc.) (15)

______ Using correct punctuation (commas, periods, etc.) (15)

______ Using correct punctuation (commas, periods, etc.) (15)

______ Overall grammar (16)

______ Overall grammar (16)

______ Overall grammar (16)

______ Understanding new vocabulary (17)

______ Understanding new vocabulary (17)

______ Understanding new vocabulary (17)

______ Using new vocabulary (18)

______ Using new vocabulary (18)

______ Using new vocabulary (18)

Read Rank, then skip to Q10 (How much time per week...) Q8 What did your teacher say you need to practice? ! Listening (1) ! Speaking (2) ! Reading (3) ! Writing (4) ! Grammar (5) Q9 What three objectives did your teacher list? 1 (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) If 1 Is Not Empty, Then Skip To How much time do you think you can sp... Q10 How much time do you think you can spend each week in the SALC working on your goals? ! 1-2 hours (1) ! 3-5 hours (2)

!

"#$!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 96-124 !

! more than 5 hours (3) Q11 Which days are best for you to work in the SALC? ! Monday (1) ! Tuesday (2) ! Wednesday (3) ! Thursday (4) ! Friday (5) Q12 What times are best for you to work in the SALC? ! 11 AM (1) ! 12 PM (2) ! 1 PM (3) ! 2 PM (4) ! 3 PM (5) ! 4 PM (6) ! 5 PM (7) Q13 How do you work best? ! I like to work by myself without a lot of help. (1) ! I need to check in once a week with the SALC desk. (2) ! I need to check in every day with the SALC desk. (3) ! I need specific, exact instructions on what to do each day. (4) ! I can't work by myself. I plan to do these activities with my tutor. (5) Q14 Type your EMAIL address below. Typing your EMAIL address tells us you agree to practice your objectives for at least one hour per week. Q15 Thank you! Please allow 24 hours before you come back for an IEP meeting time. Sign up for a meeting time by emailing Nicole

!

"#$!


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 125-140 !

Self-Access Language Learning Programme: The Case of the English Language Voluntary Intensive Independent Catch-up Study Salomi Papadima-Sophocleous, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus

Abstract This study investigated whether and to what extent an English Language Voluntary Intensive Independent Catch-up Study (ELVIICS), a Self-Access Language Learning (SALL) programme, was effective in helping first-year Greek-Cypriot students fill in the gaps in their English language learning and come closer to the required language competence level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) B1 level. It also examined students’ perceptions of such learning. The students followed the ELVIICS at their own pace, time and space until they felt they had reached the aimed level. Analysis of the achievement test results revealed that students’ language competence improved and reached the required level. Additional quantitative data also revealed that students felt ELVIICS also helped them improve their self-confidence, computer skills and autonomous learning. Moreover, students claimed that ELVIICS assisted them in getting through and successfully completing their compulsory course. Keywords: SALL, SAC, ESL, Cypriot university

In many universities, language centres and language resource centres, there are programmes offered to students with independent or autonomous learning components integrated in them, or as self-study or independent study programmes. These are usually either supported or not supported. The degree and type of support varies. These programmes usually describe what the students are expected to work on. For example, they provide students with instructions or guide packs, which advise them how to use the resource centres independently. Some of them are linked to the curriculum or they are standalone. The current article describes the design, development and implementation of an English Language Voluntary Intensive Independent Catch-up Study (ELVIICS) programme, offered by the Research and Cooperative and Interactive Language Learning Centre (ReCILLC) of the Cyprus University of Technology Language Centre. The aim of the research project was to establish (a) whether and to what extent a systematically designed programme would be effective in helping students fill in gaps in their English language learning and come closer to the required B1 Common

125


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 125-140 !

European Framework of Reference (CEFR) level of their compulsory English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course, and (b) students’ perceptions of such learning. Self-Access Language Learning (SALL) SALL is based on the theory that foreign language learners learn better if they have a say in how they learn, for example, in choosing from among different resources that are available during independent study (Klassen, Detaramani, Lui, Patri, & Wu, 1998). SALL is therefore also based on the learner-centred approach, which supports learning based on students’ active rather than passive participation (Gibbs, 1995), on student (rather than teacher) responsibility for learning and on autonomous learning. SALL follows this concept, which focuses on student responsibility and active participation for his/her own learning (Carter, 1999). It is closely related to a learnercentred approach and self-directed learning. SALL is most often conducted in a self-contained learning environment or self-access centre. These provide independent study programmes, which come in the form of readily accessible materials, some sort of support or guidance, either through answer keys or counselling, and are supported by new technologies (Dickinson, 1987). In this environment, students are given the opportunity to actively participate in their learning rather than receiving teaching passively. According to Klassen et al. (1998), in these student-centred environments students take responsibility for their own learning in the following manner: In this student-centred environment students basically set their own curriculum. First, they analyse their strengths and weaknesses and clarify their objectives. Then they select materials relevant to those objectives, choosing not only the medium best suited to them, but also the level appropriate to their ability. Time management plays a significant role in Self Access (SA) learning. Students need to set priorities, decide when and where to study, and determine how to pace their learning. There is a system of record-keeping to indicate their progress. Finally, they evaluate their learning and, if necessary, change their plan of action after receiving feedback from a counsellor.

126


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 125-140 !

Research in self-access language learning centre programmes Earlier research investigated different aspects of SALL: different types of learner preparation and support (Esch, 1994), methods of monitoring learner progress (Martyn, 1994), the role of technology (Morrison, 1999), philosophy and practice (Benson & Voller, 1997), the consequences of the role change that may be implied in SALL (Cotterall, 1998), students’ attitudes towards self-access mode (Klassen et al., 1998), efficiency and effectiveness, (Gardner, 1999), improvement of effectiveness through learner training (Cotterall & Reinders, 2001), definitions and measurement of self-access centre effectiveness (Gardner, 2001), ongoing support in using the selfaccess study centre (McMurry, Tanner, & Anderson, 2009), and change of stakeholders beliefs in SALL in tertiary institutions (in Hong Kong over a period of 15 years) in four key areas of effectiveness of self-access centres (materials for selfaccess learning, integration of self-access centres and language learning courses, motivation and the effectiveness of a self-access centre) (Gardner & Miller, 2010). According to Cotterall and Reinders (2001), much research on evaluating SALL has concentrated on matters of efficiency. Although it has been suggested that the lack of published research on their effectiveness is due to difficulties inherent in evaluating it on the whole (Gardner, 1999) and to the fact that measuring effectiveness requires evaluation of quality rather than quantity, this is more complicated to carry out (Gardner & Miller, 2010). It is evident from the existing literature that there is a need for further experimental research on SALL, on the systematic development of SALL self-access programmes, their effectiveness, and how students perceive them. Method This study took place in the Cyprus University of Technology in the Republic of Cyprus. When starting English (compulsory for two semesters for all first-year students), based on an average of 4 to 12 years of English study in primary and secondary schools (Council of Europe, 2005), students are expected to be at a CEFR B1 level. The placement test revealed that the majority of students are indeed at B1B2 level (Independent User: Threshold and Vantage, respectively). However, there were a number of students at A1.1 (Basic User: Breakthrough) and/or A2.1 (Basic User: Waystage) levels (Figure 1).

127


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 125-140 !

Figure 1. 3-Year Placement Results

For this reason, while these students followed their B1 English for Academic purposes (first semester) and B2 English for Specific Purposes (second semester) compulsory courses, they needed support to quickly catch up by filling the gaps of their earlier learning and reaching the expected level as best as possible. Therefore, a SALL programme was developed. The ELVIICS programme included activities to develop all skills and language aspects, was based on the A1 and A2 CEFR levels and included achievement tests. It was offered during the academic year 2011-2012. Research questions and design In this study the Empirical Research method was used. In order to answer particular questions, the research was based on original quantitative data such as learners’ questionnaires and diagnostic and achievement tests (Brown & Rodgers, 2002). The aims of the study were (a) to explore the effectiveness of ELVIICS on students’ English language level of competence and (b) to establish how the programme was perceived by students who did not have much prior experience in autonomous learning. Participants The participants consisted of fourteen female and seven male first-year students studying in diverse fields of study at the Cyprus University of Technology. Their ages ranged from 18 to 35. As they had studied English earlier for at least six years, they were considered false beginners. Only a few of them had computer and

128


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 125-140 !

Internet use awareness. Consequently, the majority had to make an extra effort to also develop computer skills in order to be able to follow the programme. Artifacts A review of the existing Cyprus University of Technology library and Language Centre ReCILLC English A1 and A2 materials was carried out to find suitable materials such as textbooks, workbooks, CDs and DVDs, etc. to be used for ELVIICS. An online search was also carried out to find online suitable and relevant resources. The printed materials consisted mainly of commercial sets of materials (textbooks and workbooks). The electronic materials were CDs and DVDs accompanying the sets of printed materials. The material also included online resources, carefully chosen to complement the other resources. All materials dealt with topics concerning real life contextualised communicative settings and situations relevant to students’ personal, social, and educational context, everyday life, interests and compulsory field of study. They were informed by current theory and practice in L2 curriculum development, and CEFR A1 and A2 levels. They included listening, writing, reading, speaking, grammar, and vocabulary activities. Activities included matching, gap filling, short answers, multiple-choice, sentence/form completion, clickable text on screen, clickable image on screen, video viewing, games, drag-and-drop exercises, cloze tasks, crossword puzzles, flash cards, virtual postcards, comics, etc. Online dictionaries were also recommended to students, aiming to the enrichment of students’ vocabulary and autonomous use of it. All of that was systematically and methodologically chosen and put together in the form of a study pack. The ELVIICS pack also included commentaries and guiding notes written by the Cyprus University of Technology Language Centre staff, experts in curriculum development and the use of new technologies in language learning, which aimed to help students in using resources and working independently. It is generally accepted that there is a number of learning styles. On the same token, there is no one or no perfect way to learn a language. For this reason, no particular method was imposed. The aim was to create learning opportunities. Students were given ample activities, tools and materials, which catered to their different learning styles and promoted autonomous learning. In ReCILLC, students used four computers with wireless password Internet access. The technical advisor uploaded all audiovisual material on the computers’ 129


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 125-140 !

desktop, including online dictionary links. The ELVIICS pack in digital format was saved on their desktop for easy access to the programme and the online activities. Research and assessment instruments and procedures The research instruments selected consisted of a pre-project questionnaire, a placement test, the advisor’s observation journal, and the achievement tests. At the beginning of the academic year 2011-2012, all first year students from five different schools and ten different disciplines within Cyprus University of Technology took an English placement test, before starting the compulsory EAP course. The placement test consisted of three parts: grammar-vocabulary, speaking, and writing. The grammar-vocabulary part included a multiple-choice set of 50 questions. Its aim was to verify the language level of all students. At the beginning of the study, the students were allotted some time with the advisor in order to become familiar with the notion of independent and autonomous learning, the ELVIICS pack, the ReCILLC, the library, the online resources and the ReCILLC appointment system. Students were guided as to how to work autonomously and were monitored at all times. The advisor also monitored students’ progress at regular intervals (appointment and attendance-sheet system) and kept assisting them with their independent learning, upon their request. Students were given ample materials and tasks at the A1 and A2 English competence levels in all language areas. During the ELVIICS programme, students used their ELVIICS pack, the printed and electronic materials found in the ReCILLC and online materials of the Cyprus University of Technology Language Centre. They were able to store the ELVIICS pack on their USB sticks in order to study outside the ReCILLC, if they wished to do so. The students could make their own planning as far as their studying was concerned. They could study at the ReCILLC by appointment, at home or in the Cyprus University of Technology library at any time. They were advised to engage in the number and type of activities that would best reflect their learning styles and would help them to independently reach the expected language level. They were fully free to choose what they wanted to use or were guided or supported to find them when they chose to seek guidance. Students kept their work in a portfolio, consisting of printed and electronic work. When students felt they had practised enough and had reached the required level, they took the achievement test of the level they did their independent study on (A1 or A2). A1 130


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 125-140 !

and A2 Common European Reference of Languages level achievement tests consisted of six parts: listening (2 activities), speaking (exchange of information (5 scenarios)), role-play (6 scenarios), reading comprehension (2 activities), writing (2 activities), and language (4 activities). The objective was to improve the students’ English language level and ensure that they reach A1 and A2 CEFR levels. Additional objectives were to pass their compulsory English course, improve their digital literacy and learn to work independently. Students recorded their study time on a timesheet. They also kept a task portfolio as evidence of their work. A post-project questionnaire provided information regarding the students’ perceptions toward the experience of such a programme. In order to collect in-depth information on variables such as students’ progress, attitudes towards some issues and on other elements, the academic advisor observed and kept notes throughout the duration of the ELVIICS project. Data Analysis Students’ language development To answer the first question of this study, we analysed the data provided by the placement and the achievement tests. From the total of 495 first-year students of the academic year 2011-2012, 78 students (15.76%) were placed below the required B1 level of the compulsory EAP course. This meant that these students needed to improve their English. Sixteen of them (21%) were placed at CEFR A1.1 level and 62 (7%) at A2.1 level. These students were recommended to voluntarily take the ReCILLC ELVIICS programme in order to improve their English at A1 and A2 levels and fill in possible existing gaps at those levels. Of those students, 27% chose to do the ELVIICS programme (Figure 2):

Figure 2. 2011-2012 First-Year Students in the ELVIICS Programme

131


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 125-140 !

Ninety-five percent of those who were placed at A2.1 level chose not to follow the programme. The assumption was that they thought they were close to B1 level, the level required for their compulsory EAP course. Therefore, they did not feel the need to do the course (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Students Placed A1.1/A2.1 Levels

Sixty-two percent of students who chose to follow the ELVIICS programme were at the A1.1 level, and 38% were at the A2.1 level. One out of three students who enrolled in the programme completed it (Figure 4).

Figure 4. ELVIICS Programme Enrolments and Completion

From the data analysis, it was revealed that, in comparison with previous years, all students of year 2011-2012 who did ELVIICS passed their compulsory EAP course. In previous years, not all students who were placed in A1.1 from the placement test had passed, and therefore were not able to move on and take English for Specific Academic Purposes during the 2nd semester. The average final score for

132


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 125-140 !

students who commenced the programme during the 1st semester EAP course but completed the programme during the 2nd semester English for Specific Academic Purposes course, was estimated at 5.8 out of 10. Finally, those students who completed the ELVIICS programme passed with higher marks than the ones who did only part of the programme. However, the average final English for Specific Academic Purposes course score of the students participating in ELVIICS increased from 6.3 (EAP) to 7.0 (Figure 5).

Figure 5. Scores Before and After ELVIICS

The average final score of the students in their English compulsory course was placed at A1.1 and A2.1 levels during the academic year 2011-2012. This showed an increase over the previous two years when students did not receive support in the form of a systematically designed programme: Academic Year 2009 – 2010 mean score: 5.5 Academic Year 2010 – 2011 mean score: 5.2 Academic Year 2011 – 2012 mean score: 6.1 Students’ perceptions To answer the second question of this study, we analysed the data provided by the questionnaires. Students referred to different aspects of the programme and found educational games to be the most useful activities (57%), followed by listening comprehension and vocabulary matching activities (43%) respectively. They found sound and visual matching activities to be the third most useful (43%), and vocabulary fourth (29%).

133


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 125-140 !

It is worth noting that when the students were asked to indicate the degree of improvement in each language skill or use of language using a 4-point scale, listening comprehension and writing scored the highest means (3.6 and 3.4, respectively). Grammar and vocabulary were also areas of improvement. The mean scores for these were 3.2 and 3.1, respectively (Figure 6):

! Figure 6. Improvement in Language Skill Areas

According to students’ responses, the combination of printed and electronic material helped them “much” (14%) and “very much” (86%) in their learning (Figure 7). Students claimed the variety of materials made it more interesting (50%). At the same time, it contributed towards better comprehension (Figure 8).

Figure 7. Impact of Combination of Printed and Electronic Material

134


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 125-140 !

Figure 8. Reasons Why the Combination Had Better Results

Students also referred to what helped them most in the programme. They claimed that staff support and programme content were the elements which helped them the most (100% and 86%, respectively) (Figure 9).

Figure 9. What Helped Students Most in the Programme

The vast majority of students (71%) said the programme helped them improve their English “very much” and 29% said “a lot”. This improvement was mainly in the form of better understanding of the language (80%), pronunciation (40%) and improvement in writing (40%) (Figure 10).

135


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 125-140 !

Figure 10. Language Improvement

All students agreed that the programme was well organised. Most students (86%) also maintained that the programme did not need any changes to improve it. All students were in favour of the programme continuing because, as argued, it generally helped them improve in English (86%) and helped their self-confidence (36%), Information and Communication Technology ICT skills (27%) and autonomous learning (18%). They also supported it because it was interesting, exciting and amusing (36%), and its interactive activities and games were motivating (36%). Students were finally asked if the ELVIICS programme had helped them pass their EAP English course. The trend was the same for students who had started the programme but not completed it. All students indicated that the programme had helped them get through their EAP compulsory course. Discussion of Results Students were placed at the A1.1 or A2.1 level at the beginning of the course. At its completion, they passed the A1 and A2 achievement tests respectively. The results suggest that the ELVIICS programme supported the students to successfully fill in the gaps at level(s) A1 and A2 in their English language competence. Another positive result was that according to data, it was evident that, in comparison with students in previous years who were placed below B1 and did not have a systematically designed programme to support them, all students who completed the ELVIICS programme passed their compulsory EAP course. Even those who did only part of it passed their EAP and English for Specific Academic Purposes courses.

136


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 125-140 !

To establish students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the ELVIICS programme, quantitative data from end-of-course student questionnaires were collected. Data revealed that students said the programme helped them not only to improve different aspects of their English such as comprehension, pronunciation and writing, but it also helped them improve their ICT skill, self-confidence, and autonomous learning. The aspect of the programme they liked most was the staff support, the programme organisation and content. Students’ positive attitudes towards the ELVIICS programme, supported by the perception of improvement in English proficiency, suggest that they felt the programme was effective. All students who responded to the questionnaire agreed that the ELVIICS programme should continue to be offered again in the future. In retrospect, one always finds aspects which could be improved. One of the limitations of this study was the small sample size, which did not allow for any generalisation. For this reason, the results should be interpreted with caution. The small number of students taking the ELVIICS programme also did not fully preserve anonymity. There were some factors which might have influenced the validity of the study. According to students, a common constraint was that their busy schedule did not allow them to work on a regular basis. The disruption created during the midexam period also made the smooth continuation of students’ independent study more difficult. According to the advisor’s observations, students needed to develop selfmanagement and organisation skills, as well as responsibility for their own learning. Conclusion The ELVIICS programme satisfactorily met its expected outcomes. The results show that the learning programme had a positive impact on the development of students’ language competence. A1.1 and/or A2.1 students completing the A1 and/or A2 course passed the A1 and/or A2 achievement tests successfully. Moreover, all passed their compulsory B1 course. Students also claimed that the programme helped them improve their autonomous learning skills and digital literacy. Taking into account the positive and profitable findings of the pilot ELVIICS programme, it was important to establish ways of encouraging all students below B1 to take it. Some possible suggestions are: 1. Encouragement by their course advisor to take it 137


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 125-140 !

2. Informing students and course advisors in different ways about its benefits: a. Free opportunity to catch up with their English learning b. Helping to pass the two first-year English compulsory courses c. Avoid repeating it in later years, which makes scheduling more complicated d. Developing digital literacy skills e. Developing independent learning f. Developing study skills g. Developing self-management skills Since Greek-Cypriot students have little experience in self-access learning, learning management and organisational skills, the advisor in this study indicated the need for more training in these areas. In this regard, such training can be further and systematically designed and incorporated, not only in the initial and formative stages, but also in the method of learning itself. ELVIICS was offered again during the academic year 2012-2013. The major conclusions drawn from this study were that a systematically and well-designed autonomous learning programme of a SALL centre can have a positive impact on various aspects of students’ performance: students’ improvement of language competence and language learning, on self-management, on organisation, responsibility in one’s own learning, etc. Notes on the contributor Salomi Papadima-Sophocleous is an assistant professor in the field of Applied Linguistics and the Director of the Cyprus University of Technology Language Centre. Her areas of interest, research and publications are related to second language L2) teaching, L2 curriculum design, L2 curriculum development implementation and evaluation, computer-assisted language learning, assessment and testing, autonomous learning, teacher education and language programme quality control. References Benson, P., & Voller, P. (Eds.). (1997). Autonomy and independence in language learning. London, UK: Longman. Brown, J., & Rodgers, T. (2002). Doing second language research. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

138


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 125-140 !

Carter, B. A. (1999). Begin with beliefs: Exploring the relationship between beliefs and learner autonomy among advanced students. Texas Papers in Foreign and Second Language Learning and Teaching, 4(1), 1–20. Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED467863) Cotterall, S. (1998). Roles in autonomous language learning. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 21(2), 61-78. Cotterall, S., & Reinders, H. (2001). Fortress or bridge? Learners’ perceptions and practice in self access language learning. Tesolanz, 8, 23-38. Retrieved from http://www.hayo.nl/tesolanz.html Council of Europe. (2005). Language education policy profile: Cyprus. Retrieved from http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/Source/Profile_Cyprus_EN.pdf Dickinson, L. (1987). Self-instruction in language learning. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Esch, E. (Ed.). (1994). Self-access and the adult language learner. London, UK: CILT. Gardner, D. (1999). The evaluation of self-access centres. In B. Morrison (Ed.), Experiments and evaluation in self-access language learning (pp. 111-122). Hong Kong: Hong Kong Association for Self-Access Learning and Development. Gardner, D. (2001). Making self-access centres more effective. In D. K. Kember, S. Candlin, & L. Yan (Eds.), Further case studies of improving teaching and learning from the action learning project (pp. 143-160). Hong Kong: Action Learning Project. Gardner, D., & Miller, L. (2010). Beliefs about self access learning: Reflections on 15 years of change. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 1(3), 161-172. Retrieved from http://sisaljournal.org/archives/dec10/gardner_miller/ Gibbs, G. (1995). Assessing student centred courses. Oxford, UK: Oxford Centre for Staff Learning and Development. Klassen, J., Detaramani, C., Lui, E., Patri, M., & Wu, J. (1998). Does self-access language learning at the tertiary level really work? Asian Journal of English Language Teaching, 8, 55-80. Retrieved from http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/ajelt/vol8/art4.htm Martyn, E. (1994). Self-access logs: Promoting self-directed learning. In D. Gardner & L. Miller (Eds.), Directions in self-access language learning. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, pp. 65-77. McMurry, B. L., Tanner, M. W., & Anderson, N. J. (2009). Self-access centers: Maximizing learners’ access to center resources. TESL-EJ, 12(4). Retrieved

139


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 125-140 !

from http://tesl-ej.org/ej48/a2.html Morrison, B. (Ed.). (1999). Experiments and evaluation in self-access language learning. Hong Kong: HASALD.

140


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 141 ! General Introduction to the ‘Case Studies in Self-Access” Column Jo Mynard, Editor It is my pleasure to introduce our first regular featured column. The rationale behind this addition to SiSAL Journal is that although over the past three years we have successfully showcased examples of research and practice in many contexts, we felt we wanted the opportunity to explore an unfolding story of one institution’s engagement with self-access. As this special issue deals with offering structured support for self-access learning, it seems appropriate that our first case study should be connected with self-access curriculum matters. Katherine Thornton has agreed to be the column editor for the first case study. Over the coming few issues of SiSAL Journal, she will introduce a series of articles connected with the unfolding curriculum story of one institution in Japan. The first case study: An institution in Japan After ten successful years of providing self-access materials and services to learners, learning advisors working at the SALC at Kanda University of International Studies are engaging in a thorough curriculum review. This process was initiated in order to re-evaluate the needs of the students and other major stakeholders, draw upon the literature and the experience of team members in order to implement informed changes for the future. Over the coming issues, Katherine Thornton will work with other authors to present different stages of the project. It is hoped that the framework and approach that the research team members at KUIS have taken might serve as a resource to practitioners elsewhere who are reviewing their own curricula for selfdirected learning skills or establishing one for the first time. If you would be interested in sharing a series of connected articles related to one project in this way in the future, please contact the editor. !

141


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 142-153 !

Self-Access Case Studies: Introduction by the Column Editor Katherine Thornton, Otemon Gakuin University, Osaka, Japan

Welcome to this new SiSAL column, which will examine a long-term project conducted at one institution in depth over several issues. The focus of this column will be the curriculum design project currently being undertaken at the Self-Access Learning Centre (SALC) at Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS) in Chiba, Japan. In my role as Academic Coordinator of the SALC from 2011-2013, I was in charge of leading this project in its initial stages, before I moved institution. As editor, it is from this perspective, as someone familiar but no longer directly involved in the project, that I hope to collate and introduce a number of columns from the learning advisors and teachers who are conducting the research and designing the new selfdirected learning curriculum. In this first installment, a revision of an earlier article which first appeared in the IATEFL Learner Autonomy SIG newsletter, Independence, (Thornton, 2012) I present the background to the project, the framework used to guide it and the results of the first stage, the environment analysis.

A Framework for Curriculum Reform: Re-designing a Curriculum for Selfdirected Language Learning Katherine Thornton, Otemon Gakuin University, Osaka, Japan

Context of the Project Since 2003, the Self Access Learning Centre (SALC) at Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS) has offered elective, non-classroom based self-directed learning modules for first and second year students which are taught through the SALC by a team of Learning Advisors. The modules aim to help students develop their self-directed learning skills through learning about and implementing a variety of cognitive and metacognitive strategies. This article describes the evaluation and modification process of this SALC curriculum currently being undertaken by the Learning Advisory team, and introduces an adaptation of a curriculum 142


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 142-153 !

design model originally intended for language curriculum design (Nation & Macalister, 2010a). The first step of the process, the environment analysis, and its findings will also be discussed. The Existing Curriculum The SALC currently offers two elective non-classroom-based modules to freshman students: the First Steps Module and the Learning How to Learn Module. These modules are offered in addition to students’ compulsory language classes, and are completed in their free time, with regular written feedback and occasional face-to-face contact with learning advisors through advising sessions or small group workshops. One module is offered per semester, and each module lasts for eight weeks. While offered on a voluntary basis, in recognition of their efforts students can gain extra credit for their freshmen class if they complete a module. In 201112, around 30% of freshmen opted to take the first module, with 30% of these students also taking the subsequent module. The first module, “The First Steps Module”, follows an activity and reflection model, in which students first complete several short activities on a topic related to self-directed learning skills, such as goal-setting, time management or learning strategies, and then write a brief reflection on their work, to which a learning advisor responds, initiating a written learning dialogue. The module concludes with the student composing a learning plan to achieve a specific learning goal, using the concepts introduced in the preceding units. In the second module, “The Learning how to Learn Module”, students review and then use this learning plan as a basis for their own self-directed learning, writing reflections and keeping documentation of their work. The student is supported by the learning advisor through several face-to-face advising sessions and the weekly written dialogue, through which the students are encouraged to analyse the effectiveness of their activities and make appropriate changes to better address their goals. For more details on these modules please see Noguchi and McCarthy (2010) and the columns appearing in the IATEFL Learning Autonomy SIG newsletter, Independence, by Liz Lammons (2011, 2012). Why Evaluate? The evaluation of the SALC curriculum is part of a wider curriculum project initiated by the English Language Institute (ELI) at Kanda University of International Studies, in which each 143


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 142-153 !

department is reviewing its content and objectives, in order to deliver a programme which is relevant for current students. Part of this project is a re-evaluation of the principles on which the ELI should be based. As the ELI evolves to reflect recent technological innovations, such as mobile learning, and pedagogical thinking, and the advent of critical literacies, the SALC has a duty to ensure that the content and formats in which this content is delivered reflect best practice in the field, and correspond to the needs of the study body. Since the inception of the modules in 2004, the advising team has grown from three to ten full-time advisors, and several classroombased courses have also been offered to different departments based on SALC module content, significantly changing the context in which the modules are run. The current programme has been running in its present format for about nine years. During this time student feedback surveys have been conducted at the end of each semester and learning advisors have regularly reviewed the module content, removing or replacing activities, changing the wording of instructions or reflection prompts and making other surface-level changes. In this way existing adaptations to the modules have been made based on the motivation and innovations of individual advisors, with minimal student input, rather than as part of a systematic review of the entire curriculum (see Thornton, 2010; Yamaguchi et al., 2012, for details of some of these innovations). This rather ad hoc approach is labeled curriculum enhancement by Koga and Hall (2004), and is contrasted with a more systematic process, which they term curriculum modification. While individual instances of curriculum enhancement can improve current courses, and is often the most realistic form of curriculum development for busy professionals, a methodical curriculum modification programme, which involves taking the time to conduct a thorough needs analysis of the student body and establish clear principles and learning outcomes, can ensure that the creativity and knowledge of advisors can be utilized in a more systematic way, to offer maximum benefit for learners. The Framework In order to conduct a comprehensive curriculum modification programme, it is necessary to follow a principled framework. As little work has been published in the field of self-directed learning curriculum development, we decided to consult the literature on the related field of foreign language curriculum design, drawing on two sources, primarily Nation and Macalister (2010a) but also Richards (2001). Our framework, included below (Figure 1), was adapted from 144


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 142-153 !

these models to reflect our different focus (self-directed learning in a self-access centre rather than a language course), and to incorporate the fact that we are not designing a new curriculum from scratch, but rather modifying an existing one. For this reason, the evaluation phase (phase 2) has been added between the information gathering and design phases. This evaluation involves not only looking at the performance of the current modules but also the degree to which the current format and content is the most appropriate way to address the self-directed language learning needs of our students. Through this evaluation we should be able to determine both the strengths and the gaps in our current programme, and the degree to which we need to modify it. The framework is guided by the following broad research question: What are the self-directed language learning needs and wants of KUIS freshmen students and how can the SALC best address these? The framework has three phases, consisting of several steps, each with its own research question to guide the process: 1. Information Gathering – establishing Learning Outcomes 2. Evaluation 3. Design & Piloting While this installment of the column will discuss the first step, environment analysis, subsequent installments of this column will document the further steps in this process.

145


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 142-153 !

Figure 1. The Curriculum Modification Framework (adapted from Nation and Macalister, 2010a)

146


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 142-153 !

Phase 1. Information gathering – establishing learning outcomes Figure 1 outlines the three steps in this phase: environment analysis, needs analysis and principles. Through investigating our academic environment, the needs of our learners and the principles on which we base our content, we can develop a clear understanding of these aspects of our context and establish learning outcomes on which to evaluate the current curriculum. The environment analysis, also termed situation analysis (Richards, 2001) aims to identify factors which will influence the curriculum design process and establish clear parameters (for more details of this step, and our results, please see below). The needs analysis, first made popular by Munby (1978) in the field of English for Academic Purposes, is now considered a vital step in any curriculum design programme. In our case, rather than examining language needs, we have focused on the self-directed learning needs, namely the cognitive, metacognitive and socio-affective skills and strategies necessary to be a successful autonomous language learner. This step has involved consulting various stakeholders and the literature on self-directed learning and learner autonomy, in order to gain a full picture of what kind of skills our students need and which of these the SALC should be trying to promote. The needs analysis will be the subject of the second column in this series. The principles step addresses the pedagogical and methodological theories which form the foundation of our understanding of self-directed learning and underpin our SALC. Nation and Macalister (2010a) warn against adopting one fixed methodology, which will always be open to criticism and may be in danger of being undermined. They suggest instead that individual principles, grounded in reputable research, can form the basis of curricular principles. If one principle is subsequently questioned or disproved, removing or adapting it does not necessarily endanger the integrity of the whole system (Nation & Macalister, 2010a). Phase 2. Evaluation After developing a comprehensive set of learning outcomes for our curriculum, we can then apply these to our current modules to establish the degree to which they meet these outcomes. This evaluation is designed to highlight any gaps in our current content and reveal areas which may need modification or further development. This step involves examining existing materials in detail, and gathering data from students about their experiences taking the modules.

147


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 142-153 !

Phase 3. Design and piloting Once we have established what changes we need to make to the content and format of the courses, we can design and pilot new or adapted materials and assessment procedures. This phase also requires us to consider what kind of regular evaluation procedures we can build into the curriculum in order to establish the degree to which it is meeting the learning outcomes. By building this kind of evaluation into the curriculum at the point of design, rather than retrospectively, we will be able to identify aspects which may require change or further development on a regular basis, and keep our curriculum relevant. While subsequent columns in this series will describe each step in turn, detailing both our methodology and our findings, this first column concludes by outlining the process of our environment analysis. Environment Analysis The environment analysis involves establishing the affordances and constraints in a particular context. Although this is especially important if curriculum developers are externally contracted, it is equally necessary for internal members of staff such as the SALC team to have a clear understanding of issues such as facilities, characteristics of the student body and the size and skills of staff, in order to develop a curriculum which is both appropriate and sustainable for the institution. Adapting Nation and Macalister’s (2010a) model, which focuses on language and therefore on teachers, the environment analysis at the SALC involved gathering data about the following three aspects of our curriculum: the institution, the learning advisors and the learners, with questions from previous environment analyses guiding the enquiry (Nation & Macalister, 2010b; Richards, 2001). In line with these categories, the research questions we used to guide our investigation were as follows: 1. What strengths and constraints does the environment of the English Language Institute offer? 2. What are the qualities of freshmen students? 3. What are the qualities of learning advisors? In each category, a number of factors were considered, including the following: Institutional factors: 148


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 142-153 !

physical resources available, such as classroom numbers and size, internet and computer/tablet access,

personnel issues (for example, staff turnover rates, availability of administrative support),

Learning advisors •

number and possible workload of advisors, taking into account other duties

professional qualifications and experience (level of familiarity with learner autonomy/learning advising on appointment)

availability of professional development

Learners •

likely language proficiency level of learners (the self-directed learning modules are currently conducted only in English, an L2 for the vast majority of students at our university)

their schedules, and potential time available for self-directed learning As KUIS has six different departments, each with its own learner demographics, it was

necessary to investigate each separate department. Advisors used the following sources to answer the environment analysis questions: their own knowledge of the context at KUIS, analysis of departmental documents giving course objectives and curriculum plans, and interviews with departmental directors and coordinators. This resulted in a large amount of data, which can be referred to at subsequent steps in the process. Findings In order to identify the most relevant data for our project, each project team member organized and presented their findings, highlighting the areas considered most relevant. This data was then discussed and prioritized through several advisor meetings, resulting in a list of seven important constraints identified and agreed upon by the whole team, which can be found in Table 1. These include aspects from all three categories mentioned above.

149


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 142-153 !

Table 1. Important Constraints of our Environment

Institutional factors There is no consistent definition of or emphasis on learner autonomy across different university departments. University departments are currently in flux in terms of organization and curriculum. There is inconsistent skills & strategies instruction in classes across departments. Learning Advisors: 1. Learning Advisors have varied experiences/professional backgrounds, and the fixed contract necessitates regular staff turnover. 2. The Learning Advisor workload should be realistic, and is limited by the number of advisors employed. Learners 3. Learners have a limited amount of time available for SALC courses & self-directed learning. 4. Learners have varied proficiency levels within and across departments (false beginner to nearnative). The most prominent institutional factor was the recognition that no consistent definition of learner autonomy exists across the various departments that that SALC works with and that different departments may place a different emphasis on it in their own programme objectives. In terms of the learning advisors, the differing professional backgrounds and previous experiences of advisors was the main factor identified for this group. When considering our learners, we were easily able to identify the very limited time our students have for self-directed learning as a major consideration for our curriculum. In the KUIS environment, students often have over 20 hours of classes per week and many assignments to complete, in addition to part-time jobs and club activities, which often take up a significant amount of their time and energy. With each constraint we then had to consider two issues: could it be overcome, and if so, how? If not, what are the implications of this constraint for our curriculum? For example, in terms of learner factors, we have no control over the heavy workload given to students by the 150


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 142-153 !

university system, so we have to work within this constraint. We have therefore concluded that we may need to reduce the content we provide in our modules. On the other hand, is has also been possible to overcome some constraints. Identifying that there was no consistent definition of learner autonomy across the different university departments, has given us the initiative to invite discussion on this topic with senior management, resulting in a new document specifying the philosophical and pedagogical principles of the English Language Institute and the role of autonomy in those principles. In this way, it was therefore possible to overcome the constraint we had identified to a certain degree. Having completed this step thoroughly, we hope to ensure that any resulting curriculum modifications are successful and sustainable in our context. As the overall institutional project is also ongoing, it has been necessary to revisit and revise the findings of the environment analysis during the course of the project. This has generally been done once a semester. It is in taking the time to identify and carefully consider the implications of each constraint that the environment analysis becomes truly useful, as we have been able to gain a greater awareness of the important factors to consider as we design the curriculum. Conclusion While this project may seem to be very large in scope, the SALC team believes that taking the time to conduct a thorough curriculum modification through conducting a systematic evaluation before making any changes is the most sensible way forward. Such a thorough evaluation will result in a more sustainable and relevant programme which: 1) takes into account the constraints of our context, 2) is based on a comprehensive understanding of the needs of our student body, and 3) is in accordance with the recognized principles and best practices of our field. The next column in this series will address the needs analysis. Notes on the contributor Katherine Thornton is a learning advisor and the Program Director of E-CO (English CafĂŠ at Otemon), a self-access centre at Otemon Gakuin University. She has worked as a learning advisor for five years after gaining a MA in TESOL from the University of Leeds, UK, most

151


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 142-153 !

recently at Kanda University of International Studies. She is also the current president of the Japan Association of Self-Access Learning (JASAL). Acknowledgements At various stages, the following people have been key members of the project described in this first case study: Junko Baierschmidt, Neil Curry, Yuki Hasegawa, Elizabeth Lammons, Tanya McCarthy, Brian R. Morrison, Jo Mynard, Diego Navarro, Akiyuki Sakai, Keiko Takahashi, Katherine Thornton, Satoko Watkins, and Atsumi Yamaguchi.

References Koga, N., & Hall, T. (2004). Curriculum modification. Retrieved from http://aim.cast.org/learn/historyarchive/backgroundpapers/curriculum_modification Lammons, E. (2012). Silence is at the heart. Independence, 54, 29-32. Lammons, E. (2011). Transitioning from teaching to advising. Independence, 53, 27-31. Munby, J. (1978). Communicative syllabus design. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Nation, I.S.P., & Macalister, J. (2010a). Language curriculum design. London, UK: Routledge. Nation, I.S.P., & Macalister, J. (2010b). Case studies in language curriculum design: Concepts and approaches in action around the world. London, UK: Routledge. Noguchi, J., & McCarthy, T. M. (2010). Reflective self-study: Fostering learner autonomy. In A. M. Stoke (Ed.), JALT 2009 conference proceedings (pp. 160-167). Retrieved from http://jalt-publications.org/archive/proceedings/2009/E051.pdf Richards, J. (2001). Curriculum development in language teaching. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Thornton, K. (2010). Sharing reflections: Enhancing learners’ experiences of self-directed learning. In A. M. Stoke (Ed.), JALT 2009 conference proceedings (pp. 417-426). Retrieved from http://jalt-publications.org/archive/proceedings/2009/E116.pdf Thornton, K. (2012). Evaluating a curriculum for self-directed learning: A systematic approach. Independence, 55, 8-11.

152


SiSAL Journal Vol. 4, No. 2, June 2013, 142-153 !

Yamaguchi, A., Hasegawa, Y., Kato, S., Lammons, E., McCarthy, T., Morrison, B. R., Mynard, J., Navarro, D., Takahashi, K., & Thornton, K. (2012). Creative tools that facilitate the advising process. In C. Ludwig & J. Mynard (Eds.) Autonomy in language learning: Advising in action (pp. 137-153). Canterbury, UK: IATEFL.

153


Studies in Self-Access learning Journal, 4(2)  

June, 2013 Special Issue on Supporting Self-directed Learning

Advertisement
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you