The Influence of Learner Motivation on Developing Autonomous Learning in an English-for-Specific-Purposes Course

| October 28, 2007
Title
The Influence of Learner Motivation on Developing Autonomous Learning in an English-for-Specific-Purposes Course

Author
Lai Man Wai Conttia
University of Hong Kong
Abstract
This study adopts both quantitative and qualitative approaches to identify factors which motivate and hinder the science majors to take charge of their language learning in a course-based SALL program at the University of Hong Kong. The study attempts to find out the cognitive and psychological factors that differentiate learners levels of development of autonomous learning, and the contextual and social influences surrounding the learners participation in course-based SALL.

Data were collected by means of questionnaires, focus group discussions and learners written evaluations. A total of 138 students from eight classes were selected to participate in the questionnaire survey and the SALL evaluation exercise. Eight focus group discussions were conducted to obtain qualitative data.

The results indicate significant differences exist in identified regulation and self- efficacy between successful and less successful users of SALL. Also, a number of social and contextual factors are found to have an impact on the learners success in SALL. These include relationships with significant others, social settings, implementation of SALL into the curriculum, affective factors, mastery of metacognitive skills and the nature of SALL itself. Based on the findings, a number of recommendations were made for successful integration of SALL into language courses.

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Category: Thesis