ERIC Number: ED450581
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jul-6
Reference Count: N/A
Learner Autonomy in Language Learning: A Preliminary Investigation.
Holden, Bill; Usuki, Miyuki
Bulletin of Hokuriku University, v23 p191-203 1999
This study stems in part from a desire to correct the misapprehension that Japanese students are somehow less autonomous than learners from other cultural backgrounds. The view that Japanese learners tend to be passive, obedient, and quiet is commonly accepted. Much of this "evidence" is anecdotal and comes from teacher observation of student behavior, not interviews with students themselves. Language teaching in Japan is, indisputably, still teacher-centered, and students have been led to rely upon memorization and mechanical approaches to language learning. Given these facts, it is not surprising that Japanese students do not typically demonstrate much learner autonomy or use a wide variety of learning strategies. It is asserted that Japanese students are not any more or less autonomous than learners from different cultural backgrounds; rather, the environment in which they have studied a foreign language, characterized by a formal, teacher-centered, grammar-translation approach that discourages experimentation with language and the development of a set of personalized learning strategies is responsible for the students' classroom behavior. Six groups of four to five Japanese college students were asked to respond individually to 13 questions, the answers to which had been used in several earlier studies and had been shown to be valid indicators of the level of learner autonomy. Results indicate that it is not the learners who are innately passive, but it is an educational system that has created an environment that discourages learner autonomy. Seven references and an appendix with the questionnaire are included. (KFT)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Hokuriku University, Kanazawa (Japan).
Identifiers - Location: Japan