Learner Autonomy: English Language Professors' Beliefs

Introduction

The research paper is about Learner Autonomy; its goals, content, progression, methods and techniques used in acquiring the data to acquire the conclusions and then evaluating them to answer the research questions proposed by the experts. As a spanish trainer, there are extensive elements that donate to teaching English words to non-native audio system which would support, develop or hinder the procedures of coaching and learning. One of these is Learner Autonomy and this has been an important aspect in the realm of foreign language teaching for approximately 30 years. Having less extensive review (theoretically and practice) in what learner autonomy means to teachers, professionals, curriculum builders, specialists and students only made me more wondering and inquisitive. There is a lack of understanding and interpretation of this component and the immediate need to centralize it in our lessons and the teaching-learning strategies.

Literature states that learner autonomy was "the ability to take charge of one's learning. . . to get, and to hold, the responsibility for all your decisions pertaining to all areas of this learning" Holec (1981:3). However, versions of this definition has surfaced upgrading a great deal of factors within it thus challenging the knowledge of the whole notion, resulting in eventually determining what does not comprise the meaning of 'Learner Autonomy'. That is rather difficult and will not point to an individual definition that would wrap comprehensible meaning around the idea of 'Learner Autonomy', whether it's a coaching or a learning process.

Research Study

The analyses of learner autonomy have often disregarded the instructors' voices and this has brought on a misunderstanding or no understanding of the existence of the aspect in dialect coaching and learning, although there is considerable literature that discusses this. This research is designed to bridge that gap- about how teachers seek to notice and promote learner autonomy. In addition, it sought to create and conduct instructor professional development workshops about learner autonomy after the findings of the study.

The establishment considered in the study was the university Language Centre at Sultan Qaboos University or college in Oman. One of the goals of the language centre is to support and develop learner autonomy through specific curriculum centered teachings designed to achieve this purpose through their English terminology classes. The vocabulary centre also employs about 200 instructors of over 25 nationalities who instruct British to 3, 500 Omani undergraduate students. Even with detailed training and assessments available at the centre, the management and instructors had didn't reach a common decision regarding the existing strategies of learner autonomy in displaying successful results. The framework of this review is appropriate as it is defined in a dialect centre with similar course buildings and variables as its counterparts throughout the world. The teaching staffs made up of mixed nationalities and they are all concerned with English language teaching and learning. The literature is drawn from relevant resources pertaining to coaching English as a spanish.

The research questions are plainly outlined, drawn from literature references too and therefore, it is deductive in mother nature. The experts have shown six questions they had hoped to achieve by the finish of the analysis, which wouldn't normally only answer the aim of the study but also provide a basis for developing professional workshops for the Words Centre teachers following the study was effectively completed. Although the topic of the research would effect many more educators or enthusiasts of the field to carry out further studies or to provide fresh proof and results, the study paper could be used as a pilot to project one's thoughts and understanding of this factor in language teaching. The study has clearly listed its limitations and therefore, we can suppose that there surely is a need to build up or improve the instruments used in measuring the data collected using the action-research method.

The various conditions that might be used to judge this research are
  • If the studies of the analysis are suggestions to teachers or vocabulary specialists, could it be not completely exhaustive in character?
  • Could the research be justified to answer all the questions raised only if one technique was adopted instead of combined methods?
  • Were the research workers justified to select only 20 educators for his or her interviews and draw comparisons between your questionnaires (from 61 participants) and the interviews?
  • Would it not have been justified if indeed they had used recently tested (not sturdy) equipment of measurements and then delve after findings, comparatives and inferences using the new tool that they had created?
  • If the device created was analyzed with a set of different content (18 teachers from Turkey) and was found to make a 'unidimentional' (Cronbach's Alpha, Bryman & Cramer, 2005) end result on the scales, why performed the analysts continue deploying it even when it had its flaw?
  • The results were distributed to the instructors but there is absolutely no proof their feedback on the findings of the study. This would have been great for further studies delving in the same school of thought, especially when one cannot possibly measure the amount of learner autonomy awarded to the training process in the classroom.

Assumptions

The epistemological and ontological paradigms of the research workers are reflected in the way they have managed their understanding of the field of research derived from a sizable base of books to support their understanding and reasons to attain the objectives with their research questions. The way in which of presenting this content of the analysis is fairly complete gives the readers an obvious view in to the research paradigms. The research workers have expressed their views and stated their considerable readings in their theoretical record of the analysis. It definitely provides the sample human population an assurance that the study is deductive, conclusive and backed by prior researched items. The quarrels are always given answers or presumed replies citing freelance writers of books and other researchers of the field. The restrictions they encountered were reinforced with reasons and ideas towards further research requirements.

Methodology

The quality of the aim of the analysis was observed in six research questions drawn in order to explain the 'difference' the research workers believed that been around between the values of learner autonomy in learning a second language and its own tactics inside the school room. The rationale in this analysis outlines how obtaining this distance would improve the quality of language learning while promoting democratic societies where the learners are unbiased those who would eventually make the best use of the learning opportunities in and from the classroom. The study framework is explained and shown in clarity which is concise. It not only compares in its books the rationale of the aspects in the terms learning world with prior studies, but also handles to synthesize it in its context, methodology and data examination, pulling inference and justifying their methods. It handles to convince the mark audience of the explanation through its conclusions, the questionnaires and the follow-up interviews.

The topic of the research engages both social and mental aspects, thus the researchers believed that to include combined methods using an instrument that that they had created would help them in effectively acquiring the aim of the study. The rationale supported the type of the research and provided it a feeling of way in achieving its aims. Since used equipment (in other clinical tests) in calculating data collection based on the same philosophy were considered to be lacking of empiricism, the research workers chosen not using the same musical instruments because they ended up being unrelated to the goal of this research especially to study the presence of a space between theoretical values and the genuine practices. The researchers invested 8 weeks in producing the questionnaires and put more emphasis on content to avoid repeating the imperfections that previous clinical tests undertook using the same tools. Due to time constraints, they made a decision to interview selected instructors who solved two specific questions by citing keywords.

Data Collection

The research was conducted on 61 (30. 5 % of the full total number of personnel employed) instructors who taught British and who belonged to ten different nationalities. Out of which, 59 % of these were females, 81 % got a Master's degree and 8. 5 per cent a Doctorate, respectively. In terms of their teaching experience, they ranged from a minimum of four years to no more than 25 years (15-19 many years of work experience made the majority of the respondents to the analysis).

The research was conducted using blended methods where in fact the researchers systematically researched the insights from handling the six research questions they increased in order to conduct professional development workshops for the educators at the Vocabulary Center. In addition they developed their own tool as they couldn't find a powerful the one that was well designed to aid their study. They didn't want an easy questionnaire (when compared with conducting interviews) that could incorporate flaws like those found in Dark brown & Rodgers, 2002, and hence decided upon creating one led by a number of key points that had density in content, structure and were relevant in terms of professionalism and reliability, relevance to the study topic, interesting and easy to complete. The research complete seven steps that were taken up to formulate both the device and the shut down and available questionnaires. Each one of these steps detailed the painstaking efforts the researchers acquired put into the study to formulate an action plan before calling their individuals -

  1. An considerable reviews of books especially the items that would go in to the questionnaires (different perspectives that highlighted learner autonomy from teacher's and learner's emotional, sociological, technological and political views) that by the 3rd draft, it consisted of 50 Likert scale items (five-point scales of contract with five as 'most agreed') kicked off the original design of data collection methods.
  2. An academician with activities in drafting questionnaires was asked to critically review the third draft mentioned above and he in his reviews raised the question about 'multiple sign solution' from Bryman (2008:698).
  3. This resulted in the compilation of 12 constructs with questions associated with them that would then be assessed using the device that was created, assessed on Cronbach's aplha. Each construct had a set of questions dedicated to them that have been examined by the same external academician who managed to point their thoughts towards defining the same and unified root construct or a set of constructs.
  4. By this time around, the researchers got three parts of 42 Likert-scale items combining 10 constructs with items associated with self-evaluation and learning objectives and finally, demographic information. The pilot questionnaires were conducted on 18 professors from another language centre located in Turkey where the staffs employed were from different nationalities too. It resulted in a further revision of the instrument because the experts noticed a 'unidimensionality' (Cronbach's Alpha, Bryman & Cramer, 2005) on the scales. They modified Likert-scale items which were symbolized under four orientations of learner autonomy- Techie, Psychological, Public and Political.
  5. The last and eighth draft of the questionnaire, after seven drafts before it, experienced five portions with 37 Likert-scale items, ten edited constructs (reduced from 12), and a choice to volunteer for a follow-up interview. This was then converted into a web based format using SurveyMonkey that was tried and tested online by both research workers and a colleague.
  6. An email was delivered to all 200 educators of British at the Terms Middle, Sultan Qaboos School in Oman, detailing the information about the analysis and a demand to take part in responding to the questionnaire. These were provided with the choice of attempting the questionnaires through the net founded format or as an connection in Word-document. There have been given a 10-day windowpane period to complete them. However, only 16 % came back their completed questionnaires prior to the deadline but 25 % submitted theirs after the deadline. The full total response weekly following the deadline was 33. 5 %, with a final use of 30. 5 % (61 respondents) after discarding incomplete questionnaires.

While selecting the instructors for the interviews, the research workers drew up criteria for selection. This was done so because there have been 42 respondents agreeing to do the follow-up interviews but there were time constraints for the research workers, inclusive of executing a semi-structured interview of thirty minutes each. The requirements were based on specific responses to two questions in the questionnaires; the professors' values about autonomous learners and their work experience as English Language Teachers. The ultimate selection of the individuals for the interview was predicated on the stratified random sampling process (Bryman 2008). This interview took a month to filled with the researchers dividing the 20 instructors between them; 10 of them conducted via cell phone from the uk and the other 10 were face-to-face interviews conducted in Oman.

The methods included to conduct the analysis managed to always work meticulously to the research paradigm. The intensive books reviews and review supported their quarrels throughout their studies, that was done in order to avoid spaces and loopholes in their research. The methods of data collection supported the purpose of the study and definitely helped in responding to the questions brought up. They not only referred to instruments that might be used but also analyzed them if indeed they would help in reaching their research goals. The study posted three research papers that used tools of the same kind but had defects in them. Even if they had managed to create their own device, it was tried and tested, examined and edited eight times, just so that they would be able to collate the constructs and results after gathering relevant information. I did not notice any spaces in data collection; however, the interview might have been influenced by two variables. These variables may have influenced the educators' replies to the questions asked-

  1. The interviewers were the instructors' administrator and a UK-based academics therefore inserting the educators in a limelight to provide diplomatic reactions to very sensitive questions.
  2. The types of interviews conducted via the telephone from the U. K. and face-to-face in Oman would change because that which we say personally would slightly change from the way we would over the phone.

Data Analysis

The data accumulated from the shut questionnaire were analysed using the Statistical Deal for the Social Sciences (SPSS 18), a statistical analysis program. Statistical studies were attracted as descriptive and inferential and we were holding used to examine and calculate the frequency counts and percentages of the things, the interactions and their distinctions between the factors. The responses to the open questionnaire were analysed using qualitative thematic evaluation (Newby, 2010) where in fact the issues were prepared in broader categories of sub questions relating to the constructs developed across the six research questions. The experts resorted to the type of examination to achieve a link between the questions in the questionnaires and those asked during the interviews.

They made a decision to draw comparisons between your data collected from the questionnaires and the interviews because in doing this, they could prevent any imperfections in collecting data which occurs when data is collected only from one source. The way in which in which the data was analysed provided an illustration of the quantitative results using qualitative good examples. They were also successful in getting meaningful knowledge of why the professors answered in a way that was particularly directed to the constructed questions. There were no spaces in the info accumulated even if the researchers had to wait to get more detailed respondents. They managed to extend their screen period, picked the completed questionnaires, segregated them according with their items or standards of selection, sorted the teachers they wanted to interview predicated on parameters they considered would help them understand the space (of the region of research which in cases like this is Learner Autonomy and the lack of research conducted and option of findings from earlier research to comprehend the concept from an British terms teacher's view) they raised in their research questions and used an instrument they created with extensive track record theory to support their quarrels.

Other Issues

The first researcher's institutional ethics committee approved this research. An email including specific information was sent to all the personnel utilized at the language centre. They were free to determine whether they planned to be engaged in the analysis or not that was talked about in the first email. The next email was then delivered after weekly with an option to answer the questionnaires either by using the link to the web structured questionnaires or as an fastened word file, thus gratifying the comfort of the members. These voluntary participants were also educated about the confidentiality of the data collected to be able to protect their identities. Those that agreed to be a part of the follow-up interviews were asked to signal their names in the bottom of the questionnaires. Even with all these significant steps taken up to ensure coverage of the ground of ethics, there is no point out about sharing the research studies with those who took part in the interview because they might experienced questions they would have to be responded or some may have felt that their insufficient understanding of Learner Autonomy would represent upon their vocation as an English Language Professor. However, to be able to avoid any unconscious or unintentional effects on the participants, the analysts have were able to use the results from this study and conducted professional development activities and workshops. This is a positive ethical incentive of the study since it provided the educators an chance to benefit from taking part in the job.

Conclusions

This study was based on extensive books review that dated back again since 1991. The researchers covered a great deal of reading materials from literature, publications and other research documents related to this issue and they were able to find the difference their review was based upon. The background theory of the newspaper shown four studies which were conducted qualitatively (one) and quantitatively (three) using devices that were considered robust and had flaws. The researchers presumed that methodologically, all the studies produced findings about how precisely teachers reviewed learner autonomy and do not require gave insights into coaching procedures. However, the labels of these instruments were not brought up in the studies conducted. They proven the tools they considered were used in these studies and developed an instrument of their own by seeking critical reviews from an authorized. The constructs in the questionnaires were lifted from the research questions and organised great relevance in terms of conclusions.

The quantitative results were self explanatory, however the instrument the experts created would require further review and improvements especially while using Cronbach Alpha. In order to achieve a 0. 81 rating on the Cronbach Alpha, the parameters from the studies had to be modified. This flaw occurred even after testing it with 18 different members before administering it to the true subjects of the task. Even if the entire participation (in collecting data from completed questionnaires) contains 61 respondents, the interviews were conducted only on 20 of the 42 who volunteered to take part. The answers they had provided to the interview questions could be constricted or affected due to the positions presented by the interviewers and the manner in how the interview was conducted-over the telephone and face-to-face. Although there is no utter or perfect studies in virtually any research paper credited to external elements or variables that could eventually get flagged as an issue, this research however were able to successfully achieve in responding to the research questions increased and justified the use of their methods and equipment. Their bottom line was open finished and they asked further research using a better tool of statistical measurements.

As an British Language Teacher, I would use this research to reflect upon the steps taken in drafting the questionnaires and the follow-up interview questions provided in the appendix of the study paper. I would also utilize this newspaper as a guide to intense reading of literature of course, if required, critical reviews and comments from another party to reflect upon methods I would choose to perform my own research. I'd however not consider receiving the conclusions of the study because it failed to assess teachers' values about different orientations to learner autonomy and in-class observations were not conducted to record teacher's rehearsing learner autonomy in course even if indeed they claimed to take action. With such a sound methodology, the number of members in this research was fairly low (61 out of 200 instructors) and the analysts must have tried out a different way into getting ultimately more participants.

The recommendations provided have in fact helped me in helping some reading recommendations for my research issue. The challenge of producing one's own device to be used in a quantitative review is risky but not impossible and the researchers have were able to derive this in their study by piloting it with another group of things, an academician and a colleague. The ability to accept flaws and the willingness to reach out and explore available instruments that could help increase the project gives the target audience the trust of versatility and the choice of development of tools, ideas and strategies, which is the essential foundation of dialect teaching techniques.

The review was very clear about the research questions raised. There is clarity in terms of books, the context of the study was relevant and four research studies conducted were outlined specifically proclaiming how this research issue is aimed at responding to the question (or distance) that is available in the realm of English Language Teaching. The research workers knew their sample population and hence were smart to gather data from the centre of where the problem exists-a vocabulary centre and the data collected from educators of English who have been qualified in their field with good amount of many years of experience and certification. The participants were not oblivious of the topic of the research either. The language centres' goals made up of reaching learner autonomy and then the findings of the study would in a way help them understand and improve their strategies of achieving their goal. The researchers did not perform the study and leave the individuals thinking or reflecting about their knowledge or lack of learner autonomy. Actually, the follow-up of the analysis were professional development activities and workshops. This is an incentive in its most honest form, but again, all research papers are not timid of constraints.

Critically analysing a published research article was at first challenging to a newcomer like me. To comprehend terminology, deriving its interpretation and relating it to research studies; to compare and choose what might be a flaw from conclusions, to comprehend and evaluate one's understanding about the methods of research to developing one; the capability to analyse have migrated from knowing nothing to being able to develop a (set of) research question/s. Often have we been instructed to learn a great deal, and I wondered what exactly should I read? By analysing and practising the analyses of printed research documents, I now understand what 'reading' truly imply and the way to sift through journals, articles and catalogs to find the right matter for reading, the procedure of reading these to avoid addressing limits and also to critically analyse them. The support given in terms of class lectures, text booklet readings, getting involved in peer conversations, presentations and finally picking up a newspaper to analyse, all contributed to my understanding of research in social sciences.

Extensive reading would eventually develop in the approaching days and nights and weeks, but also for now, I am self-confident to say that I know how to formulate my research issue and questions, the format of the research or its methods, the ethics that is rooted in every research, the musical instruments I would need based on the methods I'd choose, how data would be collected and analysed, collate my findings to the research questions, the language or terminologies found in relation to the nature of the context of research and lastly, the style of referencing and citations.

As far as I am concerned, I'd define an examination of a publicized study in a price from C- JoyBell C- "There's a impressive, beautiful, wonderful painting in front of you! It is intricate, detailed, painstaking labour of devotion and love! The colorings are like no other, they swim and step, they trickle and embellish! Yet you choose to fixate your eyes on the tiny fly which has landed on it! Why do you really do any such thing?"

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