An investigation into learners' disposition and perceived ability to learn independently in the Centre for Independent Language Learning

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An investigation into learners' disposition and perceived ability to learn independently in the Centre for Independent Language Learning

 

Author: Morrall, Andrew J
Title: An investigation into learners' disposition and perceived ability to learn independently in the Centre for Independent Language Learning
Degree: M.A.
Year: 1998
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Centre for Independent Language Learning
English language -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- China -- Hong Kong
Independent study -- China -- Hong Kong
English language -- Self-instruction
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: vii, 128 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1442296
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/4798
Abstract: This investigation looks at the learner training (LT) desired by students in the Centre for Independent Language Learning (CILL) of Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPU). Previous research in CILL into the need for LT showed that further investigation was necessary. Although there is widespread agreement in the literature about the importance of learner training, there are a variety of possibilities for implementing a learner training program. The main aims of this investigation are, firstly, to identify the disposition towards independent language learning of CILL students and secondly to identify the perceived ability in independent language learning of these students. A sub-aim is to investigate whether the amount of CILL experience of the students changes their dispositions and perceived abilities systematically. This will contribute to the third main aim, which is to judge whether further learner training for these students is needed or wanted, and what options CILL could offer. The hypotheses were that firstly, CILL students would have a favourable disposition towards independent language learning in CILL, which was confirmed in the interviews, as was the second hypothesis, that students would, in general, be satisfied with their independent learning (IL) abilities in the CILL context. The third hypothesis was that students' disposition towards IL and their perceived ability to learn independently would increase with the duration of their total attendance in CILL. While this hypothesis was not supported by the data from the questionnaire, it was supported by the students' statements in the interviews. The final hypothesis was that further LT opportunities would be wanted by the students. This was also confirmed. Data was collected by a questionnaire completed by 30 students, by interviewing six students, and then searching for evidence in the Learner Diaries of the interviewees. It was concluded that although there is great emphasis in the literature on LT, factors such as overwhelming workloads and satisfaction with their present perceived abilities may limit students' desire to spend time on LT. A range of short-duration LT opportunities is therefore recommended. LT opportunities available in CILL could be pointed out to new students during the orientation; how to decide an aim should be given more explanation in the orientation; the new 'Guided Independent Language Learning Scheme' (GILLS) could include LT as one of its aims; first year students could be especially targeted in the membership drive for GILLS; and if this LT in GILLS is successful, further research could be done on what additional LT the students would like. Finally, it is suggested that although staff in other self-access centres may find this research informative, they should conduct their own research into their learners' desires for LT. Another possibility is research into LT across HK self-access centres.

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