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ERIC Number: EJ948276
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-0957-1736
Foreign Language Learning Conceptualisations of Distance Learners in New Zealand: Goals, Challenges and Responses
Walker, Ute; Haddon, Rosemary
Language Learning Journal, v39 n3 p345-364 2011
This article reports on a collaborative research project which involved first-year distance learners of Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish at a New Zealand university. Drawing on the principles of Allwright's exploratory practice, the study aimed to gain an insight into the learners' experiences and conceptualisations in terms of their goals, the challenges they encountered and their strategic orientations towards dealing with these. The research revealed that learners regarded their own effort as the most important factor in achieving their goals and overcoming the challenges of isolation, a key barrier to achieving their primary goal of communicative competence in their target language (TL). We argue that the learners' strong sense of self-reliance is an important catalyst for autonomous and independent learning, which needs to be supported through learning environments where students can act and interact in new and creative ways and which can help them cope with adopting new roles and ways of learning. To this end, the study's findings contributed to enhanced e-tutoring and the development of digitalised advice by near-peer role models, which aimed to reduce the learners' sense of distance, promote interaction and, ultimately, improve their quality of life as distance learners. (Contains 1 note and 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand