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A Study Of EFL Learner Autonomy Of NON-English Majors

Posted on:2009-02-02Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:N MiFull Text:PDF
GTID:2155360272471617Subject:English Language and Literature
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Learner autonomy has gained great popularity among researchers home and abroad since Henri Holec first gave its definition in 1981. For a long time, Chinese college English teaching was dominated by a teacher-centered, book centered and grammar-translation method. In recent years, learner autonomy is becoming increasingly important in China. The College English Curriculum Requirements (CECR) published in 2004 provides colleges and universities with the guidelines for English instruction to non-English major students. It points out that the important signs that indicate the success of the teaching reform are the formation of the students' individualized learning methods and the development of their autonomous English learning competence. This shows that in Chinese colleges English teaching is shifting its stress to the training of students in autonomous English learning in order to raise the students' awareness of autonomous English learning and develop their autonomous English learning ability. With the change from teacher-centeredness to learner-centeredness in education, the development of learner autonomy has received more and more attention in the field of EFL teaching and learning.This study was based on constructivism theory, positivism theory and critical theory on autonomous learning. It involved 122 second-year non-English majors from Shandong University of Science and Technology (Tai-an Campus). A questionnaire was adopted to find out what beliefs non-English major students have towards learner autonomy, what problems with them in terms of autonomous learning and in what practical ways to develop the students' autonomous English learning abilities.The analysis of the collected data indicates that:(1) Students had positive attitudes towards learner autonomy and strong desires to be involved in language learning process, but their lack of proper motivation and confidence led to their learning helplessness.(2) Students still heavily relied on teachers and classroom interaction patterns were often featured teacher-centered in which the students had less opportunities to practice their own learning potentials and develop their autonomy. (3) Students had poor meta-cognitive knowledge and strategies. They were unable to conduct self-planning, self-monitoring and self-assessing, etc.Based on the results of the study, a few tentative suggestions as to how to foster the development of learner autonomy in the Chinese context are put forward. First, teachers should renew their own teaching concepts, and then take various measures to motivate students to develop their consciousness of autonomous learning to enhance their confidence. Second, teachers should instruct their students to use meta-cognitive strategies in their English learning. Meta-cognitive strategies are crucial to autonomous learning. In this thesis the proposed meta-cognitive strategies include the following: to make concrete plans, to monitor the learning process, and to make self-assessment, etc. Third, school authorities should construct autonomous learning center now that a favorable environment is necessary for learner autonomy. In the end, the limitations of this present study are summarized and the recommendations for the future studies on the similar topic are proposed.
Keywords/Search Tags:learner autonomy, teacher-centeredness, learner-centeredness, meta-cognitive strategies, English teaching and learning
PDF Full Text Request
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