64 research outputs found

    Distance language learners and learner support: beliefs, difficulties and use of strategies

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    Evidence is mounting from a number of studies undertaken with groups of learners of all ages and all abilities that there is a particular factor common to successful language learners: strategic competence involving the use of appropriate learning strategies. The growing body of research into this area has not, however, had much to say so far about the special situation of those learning a language at a distance. Based on the findings of surveys and discussions carried out with students enrolled in the final year of the Diploma in French at the Open University, this paper investigates learner beliefs about learning a language at a distance, difficulties encountered, attitudes to learner support and the use of strategies. It concludes that metacognitive strategies may have an enhanced role for the learner of a language at a distance, but that further research is needed to determine more clearly the nature of this role, how metacognitive strategies relate to learner variables and the specific implications for learner autonomy, tutor support and course design

    A model of factors affecting independent learners’ engagement with feedback on language learning tasks

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    In independent learning contexts, the effectiveness of the feedback dialogue between student and tutor or, in the absence of a tutor, the quality of the learning materials, is essential to successful learning. Using the voices of participants as the prime source of data through a combination of data-driven and concept-driven approaches, this investigation attempts to gain deeper insights into the dynamics of the learning process as students express emotional reactions to the learning environment and in particular the written feedback from their tutors and the learning materials. To account for the different ways in which adult learners studying independently engage both cognitively and emotionally with external feedback, we propose a model based on four key drivers: goal relevance, knowledge, self-confidence, and roles. We conclude that only when these key drivers are aligned with each other can learners in independent settings engage with external feedback and learn from it
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