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Alexander Walsh TTXAW20 The Extent of, and Desire for, Autonomous Learning Strategies in a South Korean High

School English Language Classroom Course: M.A TESOL Learner Autonomy Marking Tutor: Barbara Sinclair Word Count: 3194

Contents
Purpose of Study ......................................................................................................................................................................... 1 Literature Review ......................................................................................................................................................................... 2 History of Autonomous Learning.................................................................................................................................... 2 Autonomous Learning and Asian Cultures ................................................................................................................. 3 Findings & Discussion ............................................................................................................................................................... 6 Data Collection ........................................................................................................................................................................ 6 Results .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 6 1) Student Attitudes towards Autonomous Practices ................................................................................ 6 2) Students Autonomous Strategies Outside of the Classroom .......................................................... 8 3) Teachers Use of Autonomous Strategies in the Classroom ............................................................. 9 Conclusion ................................................................................................................................................................................... 10 Bibliography ................................................................................................................................................................................ 12 Appendix 1 Student Questionnaire .............................................................................................................................. 14 Appendix 2 Teacher Questionnaire .............................................................................................................................. 18 Appendix 3 Statement of Research Ethics (Masters Programmes) ............................................................... 20

Purpose of Study
For a long time, the typical East Asian classroom has been described as teacher and book centred whilst utilizing grammar translation and rote learning language teaching methodologies (Littlewood, 1999). The typical East Asian learner, meanwhile, is often typified as introverted, teacher dependent, passive and compliant (Gan, 2009). In South Korea the education system is in transition, the Ministry of Education (2008) is encouraging English language teachers to move away from the traditional grammar translation and rote learning classroom methodologies towards a communicative oriented English language system based on specific communicational goals: [Students will have] the ability to communicate in English, [to] act as an important bridge connecting different countries, and [] be the drivi ng force developing our country by forming trust among various countries and cultures. (Ministry of Education 2008:41) This transition is being spearheaded by a new examination system, known as NEAT (National English Assessment Test) due to be implemented in 2016. The NEAT will operate alongside the current SAT examination system (Korean University Entrance Exams), and will focus purely on communicative language skills. An often integral part of the communicative approach to language teaching is learner autonomy (Gremmo & Riley, 1995). As Littlewood (1999:73) explains, if we are teaching language for communication, it follows from this that the goal is to develop a capacity to communicate autonomously. A widely used definition of learner autonomy is that to say of a learner that he is autonomous is to say that he is capable of taking charge of his learning (Holec 1980:4). The traditional definitions, however, have been accused of being culturally biased. In response new ways of defining autonomy have been developed that attempt to remove the Western ethnocentric bias of the term itself and realign it within educational terms. This re-examination of what is meant by learner autonomy has allowed autonomous learning to be considered a realistic goal beyond the educational systems of the West and into English language classrooms in East Asia (Schmenk, 2005). This study will look to answer, through feedback from South Korean high school teachers and students, the following research questions: 1) To what extent are Korean high school teachers currently utilising autonomous learning strategies in their English language classrooms? Page | 1 of 26

2) To what extent do Korean high school students desire autonomous learning practices in the classroom and engage in autonomous language learning outside of the classroom? 3) Can the utilisation of autonomous language learning strategies be considered an achievable goal for the South Korean public education system?

Literature Review
History of Autonomous Learning Personal autonomy as an educational goal can be traced back to the European Enlightenment Period in which individual autonomy and independency were seen as key ideals (see, for example, Kant, 1933). It has since then, albeit with periods of strong criticism, played an important role in the educational aims of Western countries (Gremmo & Riley, 1995). Given these historical roots, autonomy has been widely considered a Western construct, one that has strongly influenced modernist thinking about the subject and the emancipated individual in a democratic state (Schmenk, 2005:107). Interest in the promotion of learner autonomy in language teaching began to develop throughout the 1970s and 1980s (Benson & Voller, 1997; Littlewood, 1999), since when it has become recognized as both an important pedagogical goal (Wenden, 1987) as an unavoidable methodological option (Narcy, 1994) and a necessary condition of effective learning (Chan et al, 2002). Definitions as to what autonomous language learning constitutes have varied, however it is possible to find common themes running throughout the literature. Benson & Voller (1997), for example, identified three versions of learner autonomy: 1. Technical Learner autonomy is seen as an act of learning a language outside of the classroom and without the presence of a teacher. 2. Psychological Learner autonomy is seen as a capacity that allows learners to take more responsibility for their own learning 3. Political Learner autonomy is concerned with the structural conditions that allow learners to control both their individual learning and the context in which it takes place. (Benson & Voller 1997:19)

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Littlewood (1999), meanwhile, identified two similar themes that run through autonomous language learning literature: 1. Students should take responsibility for their own learning. This is both because all learning can in any case only be carried out by students themselves and also because they need to develop the ability to continue learning after the end of their formal education. 2. Taking responsibility involves learners in taking ownership (partial or total) of many processes which have traditionally belonged to the teacher, such as deciding on learning objectives, selecting learning methods and evaluating progress. (Littlewood 1999:71) Within these themes there are a number of teacher, student and classroom traits that are seen as indicative of autonomy. Firstly, individualization and recognition of individual learning styles, preferences and needs (Benson & Voller, 1997). Secondly, learner centeredness and the belief that language teaching should not be considered a transfer of knowledge but the production of knowledge, in which learners are seen as active participants (Benson & Voller, 1997). Thirdly, self-fulfilment and a students acceptance of ones own responsibility as a decision maker in the learning process, as opposed to a reliance on the decisions taken by ones teacher (Dickinson, 1995). It is such traits that led many writers to suggest that outside of the individualistic Western contexts in which autonomy developed it is neither an achievable or suitable goal (Littlewood, 1999, Holliday, 1994).

Autonomous Learning and East Asian Cultures With little research having been conducted on learner autonomy in the Korean education system, it is necessary to draw on research and literature focusing on similar societal and educational cultures, such as Japan, China and Hong Kong. While literature shows significant differences between Western and East Asian cultures, the extent to which this difference affects the application of, and desire for, autonomous language learning is more ambiguous. To understand the potential effect on autonomy we first need to unravel these cultural differences and examine how they affect language learning.

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Discussions aimed at distinguishing and understanding cultural differences often revolve around the effect of Confucianism in the East and Individualism in the West (Gan, 2009). Confucianism promotes the idea of ones self as part of a collecti ve, an individual gives priorities to collective goals over their own personal goals (Triandis, 1995). Individualism, on the other hand, is based on self-consciousness, independent decision making and freedom from external constraints (Pennycock, 1998). These dichotomous observations of Eastern and Western values have led to a tendency to instil certain characteristics on Asian and Western students, characteristics that can potentially influence students capacity for autonomous learning. Such characteristics that are often associated with East Asian leaners include; being reluctant to stand out from the group by expressing views, perceiving the teacher as a figure whose authority should not be questioned, seeing knowledge as something that should be transmitted by the teacher, as passive vessels in the learning process, dependent on a syllabus, lacking in critical thinking skills and favourable towards rote learning (Pierson, 1996; Littlewood 2000; Rao, 2002; Gan, 2009; Kojima, 2006), all of which conflict with learners taking charge of and becoming responsible for their own learning making their own decisions [and] reflecting on their learning critically (Chang 2007:325), in other words, the principles of learner autonomy. Schmenk (2005) suggests that despite these cultural stereotypes of East Asian learners and classrooms learner autonomy can, theoretically, become on important notion in East Asia, as long as the ethnocentricity associated with autonomous learning (as previously described) is dealt with and the cultural backgrounds of the individual contexts are both recognized and taken into account. Littlewood (2000), meanwhile, questions the reality in which these cultural traits truly exist. He believes we must question whether or not Asian learners supposed incapacity for autonomous learning is based on the preferences of our students, is simply succumbing to the constraints associated with the cultural and educational traditions they are part of or even whether this reality is only in peoples minds due to the stereotypes associated with the Asian learner, before judging whether or not learner autonomy can be considered a realistic goal for Asian students. Kojima (2006) also argues that if we look at and understand the ethnography of autonomy (how autonomy can be fostered within the educational principles of a given society) we can begin to explore the implementation of autonomous learning strategies in East Asia. Indeed, there is substantial research to indicate that, under the right conditions, autonomous language learning is both desired and, in many cases, demonstrated in East Asian language classrooms. Of particular significance is research carried out by Littlewood (2001), in which he Page | 4 of 26

surveyed 2686 students in both Europe and Asia (including South Korea) in order to either prove or disprove predictions made about both European and Asian students including those described above. Littlewoods (2001) conclusions that are of most relevance to this study are that: 1. Most students in all countries question the traditional authority structure of the classroom. 2. Most students in all countries would like to see themselves as active participants in the classroom learning process. 3. Most students in all countries have a positive attitude towards co-operating in groups in order to achieve common goals. (Littlewood 2001:21) Clearly, these conclusions directly contradict the standard stereotype of the Asian learner. Gan (2009) meanwhile, conducted questionnaires and interviews with students in Hong Kong and China based on Littlewoods ten predictions and, in support of Littlewood (2001), conclude s that the students demonstrated an overall positive attitude towards self-directed learning, reflecting a

desire to make their own choices and engage actively in their own language learning, which can
be taken as a rejection of the observation commonly made about Asian learners as passive and teacher-dependent (Gan 2009:52 emphasis added). Further studies that show Asian students hold a positive attitude towards autonomous learning include those by Balla et al. (1991), Dickinson (1996) and Widdowson & Voller (1991). All of these studies indicated that autonomy is both a desired and achievable goal in East Asia. Further research also demonstrates aspects of autonomous learning in use in East Asian classrooms, such as Marshall and Torpey (1997), whose Japanese participants exhibited selfdirection and autonomy in task-based activities. It is, however, important to recognize that this research is not conclusive, and that often the research conducted in East Asia is contradictory. Balla et al (1991), for example, also concludes that East Asian students are uninterested in learning outside of the classroom or syllabus, Kember and Gow (1991) found Hong Kong students prefer rote learning type instruction and Evans (1996) highlights how independence, individuality and creativity is often actively discouraged in Hong Kong schools. To summarise, previous research shows a desire for autonomous learning strategies from East Asian students, that cultural and institutional powers may be suppressing the opportunity for autonomous learning despite this apparent desire from East Asian students and that, under the Page | 5 of 26

right circumstances, when cultural differences are taken into account and the ethnocentric wings of autonomy are snipped off, the use of autonomous learning strategies can be considered an achievable goal in East Asian contexts.

Research Design, Findings & Discussion


Data Collection The data was collected via closed question surveys (see Appendix 1 & Appendix 2). These surveys were designed and developed through the identification in relevant literature of autonomous language learning strategies that can be utilised both inside and outside of the classroom. These surveys were filled in by one class of 38 students and 10 teachers in a high school in Seoul, South Korea. Gaining student feedback via closed question surveys is normal classroom practice within the educational institution involved. Ethical approval to use the data for this project was obtained from the school and participants, and BERA ethical guidelines were followed. Results To provide a concise discussion I will pick out the aspects of the survey results that I feel are of most relevance to the research questions posed in this paper. Due to academic limitations it is not possible to provide a review of all the findings gathered from the collected data. 1) Student Attitudes towards Autonomous Practices The student attitudes towards autonomous practices (see Table 1) indicate a strong desire for autonomous practices in the English language classroom. These results contradict many of the beliefs contained in the literature regarding the typical East Asian student as passive and teacher dependent.
Table 1. Student Attitudes towards Autonomous Practices

In English class I would like to be able to: (displayed in order of score high->low)
Q 10. Learn English that can be used in real life, not just exams. Q 11. Find my own motivation for learning English, rather than be motivated by the teacher. Q 1. Question the teacher if I dont understand or I disagree with something.

Average Score (3 considered neutral)

4.49 4.29 4.26

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Q 6. Set my own learning goals for each semester. Q 7. Offer opinions on what materials to use or what to learn in the classroom Q 14. Have more responsibility in making sure I am progressing. Q 9. Be given the chance to find my own solutions to my learning problems. Q 12. Discuss strategies for learning and using English outside of a classroom. Q 13. Be given opportunities to contribute to the class. Q 5. Evaluate my own learning and progress. Q 8. Learn from my peers, not just my teacher. Q 4. Be given the opportunity to voice my opinions on issues. Q 2. Discover knowledge on my own rather than waiting for knowledge from the teacher. Q 3. Have discussions in small groups to find answers or solutions.

3.83 3.67 3.63 3.63 3.54 3.37 3.34 3.29 3.14 3.09 2.77

Average

3.60

The results in Table 1 also indicate general agreements with previous research such as Littlewood (2001), which concludes that students in all countries question the traditional authority structure of the classroom, reflected by the average score of 4.26 given in response to Question 1. Littlewoods (2001) second conclusion, that most students in all countries desire to be active participants in the learning process, is also reflected in these results, with students giving very positive responses to Questions 11, 6 and 7 (with scores of 4.29, 3.83 and 3.67 respectively). Littlewoods (2001) third conclusion, that most students hold positive attitudes towards cooperating in groups, however, is contradicted by this group of students. Littlewoods (2001) study indicates that most students hold positive attitudes towards co-operating in groups, yet this was the only question asked to the students that came back with a negative score (Question 3 with a score of 2.77). This result is particularly interesting due to the traditionally collectivist

nature of Korean culture, which leads one to presume that Korean students would both desire and work well when set group tasks. One explanation for this result is that Korean students are not regularly asked to work in groups as it does not suit the nature of the materials or syllabus used in English language classes, an assumption supported by the corresponding negative results from the teachers feedback (see Table 3) in response to whether or not they encourage their students to work in small groups. If this is the case, it is likely that Korean students are unaware of the strategies involved in achieving group goals, resulting in the students seeing group work as a confusing concept. To confirm this, further research would be required, possibly in the form of interviews, investigating why students hold a negative opinion towards group work and why Page | 7 of 26

teachers do not encourage it. The feedback from the Korean students also supports research from Gan (2009) which demonstrates Honk Kong students desire to actively engage in the learning process and the generally positive attitude towards autonomous strategies by Asian students highlighted by Balla et al (1991), Dickinson (1996) and Widdowson & Voller (1991).

2) Students Autonomous Strategies Outside of the Classroom Overall, the students indicate a positive uptake of autonomous learning strategies outside of the classroom (see Table 2). There are, however, some very important exceptions to the trend. Receptive strategies received a positive score, such as listening to English music and watching English T.V shows (see Table 2 Questions 5 and 6), which received the highest average scores of 4.34 and 3.60 respectively, however it is possible that students watch T.V shows or listen to music without the goal of improving their English ability. The results in Table 2 do indicate a positive uptake of autonomous strategies to help students with their English grades, (see Table 2 Questions 3, 4 and 2 with scores of 3.40, 3.26 and 3.22 respectively), however this can be explained due to the pressure on students to do well in, and their absolute focus on, their University Entrance Exams as opposed to the goal of improving their English ability.

Table. 2 Students Use of Autonomous Strategies Outside of Class

Outside of English Class I:


(displayed in order of score high->low)
Q 5. Listen to English music. Q 6. Watch English T.V shows. Q 3. Think about whether I am progressing in learning English. Q 4. Set goals for myself in English learning. Q 2. Learn from my mistakes when I do poorly on a test. Q 1. Memorize English words even if I am not asked to by my teacher. Q 7. Speak in English. Q 8. Write letters or diaries in English.

Average Score (3 considered neutral)


4.34 3.60 3.40 3.26 3.22 2.74 2.46 1.97

Average

3.13

Students feedback also indicates a very low uptake of autonomous strategies that involve either actively engaging in the English language or improving their English ability unless it is Page | 8 of 26

directly related to their school exams (see Table 2 Questions 1, 7 and 8). These results would seem to support research by Balla et al. (1991) that concludes East Asian students are uninterested in learning outside of the syllabus however when analysing these results it important to bear in mind that Korean high school students spend most of their time outside of public school in private academies, leaving little time, or energy, to engage in autonomous practices. This schedule means that rather than a lack of interest in autonomous strategies outside the classroom, it could very well be the impossibility of fitting them into their schedules. 3) Teachers Use of Autonomous Strategies in the Classroom The teachers responses indicate a positive uptake of autonomous teaching strategies in the classroom (see Table 3). Of the three categories that did have a below average uptake, questions 10 and 3 (with scores of 2.91 and 2.90 respectively) can both be explained by the syllabus teachers are expected to follow and, due to external pressures, the teachers primary goal of getting the students as higher grade as possible in their University Entrance Examination.
Table 3. Teachers use of Autonomous Strategies

I encourage my students to: (displayed in order of score high->low)

Average Score (3 considered neutral)

Difference Between Students Desire for and Teachers use of autonomous strategies
+0.379 +0.717 +0.114 +0.447 +0.099 -0.083 +0.169 +0.021 +0.187 -1.104 -0.686 -1.577 +0.138

1. Question me if they dont understand something or disagree with me. 6. Set their learning goals for each semester. 4. Voice their opinions on issues. 13. Contribute to the class. 9. Find their own solutions to their learning problems. 14. Have responsibility in monitoring how much they are progressing. 8. Learn from their peers. 5. Evaluate their own learning and progress 2. Discover knowledge on their own rather than relying on me. 11. Find their motivation for learning English, rather than being motivated by the teacher. 7. Offer opinions on the materials used in class or what to learn in the classroom. 10. Learn English that can be used in real life, not just exams. 3. Discuss things in small groups to find answers or

4.64 4.55 4.18 3.82 3.73 3.56 3.45 3.36 3.27 3.18 3 2.91 2.90

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solutions. 12. Discuss strategies for learning and using English outside of a classroom. 2.64 -0.906

Average

3.51

-0.083

These results also indicate a positive correlation, with the exception of learning English that can be used in real life (as explained above) and students finding their own motivation for learning English, between students desire for the use of autonomous learning strategies and the autonomous strategies offered to them, with an average difference of only -0.083 (see Table 3). This is in contrast to previous research that has indicated cultural and institutional powers may be suppressing students opportunities for autonomous learning, for example Evans (1996).

Conclusion
This study indicates that Korean high school students have the desire for autonomous learning strategies in the English language classroom, and that Korean teachers are making efforts to afford their students opportunities for autonomous practices, albeit within the constraints of the syllabus and examination structure of which they are bound. Outside of the classroom, however, although the students indicate that they have plenty of exposure to English for leisure activities, students tend not to engage in active autonomous strategies such as speaking and writing English or increasing their knowledge base, although this is explainable due to the pressure and time constraints Korean students work under. These findings both support and contradict previous research on East Asian students. They provide an average score from feedback that contained large variations in individual answers. This reflects the need to recognize individual preferences and contexts when discussing autonomy in different classrooms around the world. Every group of students is different, and we have to be careful not to make over-generalisations based on research conducted on students in different contexts. Further limitations of this research include the need to recognise that the research was based on only one group of students and ten teachers in a high school located in one of the most affluent areas of Seoul, South Korea. A different class of students may have answered very differently, a generalizability issue also apparent for the group of teachers surveyed, for example the high school involved in this research only employs teachers who graduate from a SKY university (the top three universities in South Korea), factors such as this could mean that a different set of teachers may have given very different answers. The research is also limited by the Page | 10 of 26

fact that there is no analysis of, or explanation by the students or teachers, as to why they gave the answers they did. There is a need for further research to be conducted to explore issues brought up by this data, such as the lack of desire for and use of group work, why students fail to engage in active autonomous strategies outside the classroom and lack of English being taught that can be used in real life despite students holding a strong desire for this. In order to complement the communicative approach being introduced to Korean language classrooms I would recommend the following steps be taken by the Ministry of Education in order to further promote the use of autonomous learning strategies. - Working closely with teachers to help develop classroom strategies that incorporate group work into the syllabus. This would promote peer learning, peer evaluation and other autonomous social learning strategies. - Take further steps in developing the English language syllabus as to incorporate English that both students and teachers feel is of use outside of the classroom, if possible involving students in this process. - Develop a program that helps students to understand methods they can use to improve their English ability outside of the classroom. This could include ways to utilise their favourite English T.V shows and music to help improve their English ability. In conclusion, this research provides a small snap shot as to the use of and attitudes towards autonomous language learning strategies in Korean high schools and by Korean high school students. This snapshot indicates a positive attitude towards autonomous language learning strategies by both students and teachers. Although these results should be viewed positively by the Ministry of Education, the study also raises some fundamental concerns, namely the lack of English being taught that can be used outside the classroom, the lack of group work being used in the classroom and the lack of active autonomous learning strategies being utilized outside of English language classrooms by Korean students. These are issues which, if addressed, could support the transition away from traditional rote learning and grammar translation teaching methodologies towards a communicative based approach to English language education in Korean public schools as desired by the Ministry of Education.

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Bibliography
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Hu, G. (2002). Recent important developments in secondary English-language teaching in the People's Republic of China. Language Culture and Curriculum,15(1), 30-49. Kant, I. (1933). Critique of pure reason. (N. K. Smith, Trans.). New York: Macmillan. (Original work published 1781, rev. ed. 1787.) Kember, D. and Gow, L. (1991) A challenge to the anecdotal stereotype of the Asian student. Studies in Higher Education 16 (2), 117128. Kojima, Hideo. (2006). Learner Autonomy in Language Education: A Perspective. Hirosaki University Bulletin of the Faculty of Education. 96 (1), 67-75. Cross-Cultural

Lee, I. (1998). Supporting greater autonomy in language learning. ELT journal, 52(4), 282-290. Littlewood, W. (1999). Defining and developing autonomy in East Asian contexts. Applied Linguistics, 20(1), 71-94. Littlewood, W. (2001). Students' attitudes to classroom English learning: a cross-cultural study. Language Teaching Research, 5(1), 3-28. Littlewood, W. (2000). Do Asian students really want to listen and obey?. ELT journal, 54(1), 31-36. Liu, N. F., & Littlewood, W. (1997). Why do many students appear reluctant to participate in classroom learning discourse? System, 25(3), 371-384. Marshall, N. and Torpey, M. (1997) Autonomy and interaction in a self-directed classroom. In V. Berry, B. Adamson and W. Littlewood (eds) Applying Linguistics: Insights into Language in Education (pp. 107122). Hong Kong English Centre: University of Hong Kong. Marton, F., Watkins, D., & Tang, C. (1997). Discontinuities and continuities in the experience of learning: An interview study of high-school students in Hong Kong. Learning and instruction, 7(1), 2148. Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Korea. (2008). English Curriculum. Narcy, J. P. (1994). Autonomie: Evolution ou rvolution. Die Neueren Sprachen,93(5), 430-441. Pennycook, A. 1998. English and the discourses of colonialism. London: Routledge. Pierson, H.D. (1996) Learner culture and learner autonomy in the Hong Kong Chinese context. In R. Pemberton et al. (eds) Taking Control:Autonomy in Language Learning (pp. 4958).Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. Rao, Z. (2002). Bridging the gap between teaching and learning styles in East Asian contexts. TESOL Journal, 11(2), 5-11. Schmenk, B. (2005). Globalizing learner autonomy. Tesol Quarterly, 39(1), 107-118. Triandis, H. C. (1995). Individualism and collectivism. Coulder, Colorado: Westview Press. Widdows, S. and Voller, P. (1991) PANSI: A survey of ELT needs of Japanese university students. Cross Currents 18, 127141.

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Appendix 1 Student Questionnaire

Do not write your name on this sheet. Fill it out and give it back to your teacher. . . This is not a test. There are no right and wrong answers; we want your own ideas and impressions. . .

In English class I would like to be able to: :

1.

Question the teacher if I dont understand or I disagree with something.

1. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

2.

Discover knowledge on my own rather than waiting for knowledge from the teacher.

2. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

3.

Have discussions in small groups to find answers or solutions.

3. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

4.

Be given the opportunity to voice my opinions on issues.

4. . Agree Page | 14 of 26 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

5.

Evaluate my own learning and progress.

5. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

6.

Set my own learning goals for each semester.

6. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

7.

Offer opinions on what materials to use or what to learn in the classroom.

7. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

8.

Learn from my peers, not just my teacher.

8. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

9.

Be given the chance to find my own solutions to my learning problems.

9. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

10. Learn English that can be used in real life, not just exams. 10. , . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

11. Find my own motivation for learning English, rather than be motivated by the teacher.

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11. , . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

12. Discuss strategies for learning and using English outside of a classroom. 12. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

13. Be given opportunities to contribute to the class. 13. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

14. Have more responsibility in making sure I am progressing. 14. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

Which of the following do you do outside of English class? ?

15. Memorize English words even if I am not asked to by my teacher. 15. . Often 1 2 3 4 5 Rarely

16. Learn from my mistakes when I do poorly on a test. 16. . Often 1 2 3 4 5 Rarely

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17. Think about whether I am progressing in learning English. 17. . Often 1 2 3 4 5 Rarely

18. Set goals for myself in English learning. 18. . Often 1 2 3 4 5 Rarely

19. Listen to English music. 19. ( ) . Often 1 2 3 4 5 Rarely

20. Watch English T.V shows. 20. TV . Often 1 2 3 4 5 Rarely

21. Speak in English. 21. . Often 1 2 3 4 5 Rarely

22. Write letters or diaries in English. 22. . Often 1 2 3 4 5 Rarely

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Appendix 2 Teacher Questionnaire


Please indicate your answer to the following questions by circling the number that most closely reflects your opinion. . In English class I encourage students to: 1. Question me if they dont understand something or disagree with me . Agree 2. 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

Discover knowledge on their own rather than relying on me. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

3.

Discuss things in small groups to find answers or solutions. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

4.

Voice their own opinions on issues. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

5.

Evaluate their own learning and progress . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

6.

Set their own learning goals for each semester. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

7.

Offer opinions on the materials used in class or what to learn in the classroom.

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. Agree 8. 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

Learn from their peers. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

9.

Find their own solutions to their learning problems. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

10. Learn English that can be used in real life, not just exams. , . 11. Find their own motivation for learning English, rather than being motivated by teachers or exams. , . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

12. Discuss strategies for learning and using English outside of a classroom. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

13. Contribute to the class. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

14. Have responsibility in monitoring how much they are progressing. . Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Disagree

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Appendix 3 Statement of Research Ethics (Masters Programmes)

Name of student: Course of Study: Title of assignment / dissertation:

Alexander Walsh M.A TESOL

Supervisor: Date:

Barbara Sinclair 23-01-2013

The Extent of, and Desire for, Autonomous Learning Strategies in South Korean High School Language Classrooms

Sections 1-4 are to be completed by the student; Sections 5 / 6 are to be completed by the tutor / supervisor.

Section 1 Briefly outline your research questions or aims Research Question Is autonomous language learning a viable goal for Korean English language classrooms?

Section 2 Briefly outline your proposed methods and sites of data generation and your proposed methods of sampling Using feedback routinely collected from students as part of English program. Feedback is collected via closed question feedback forms. Further feedback collected from teachers with permission.

Section 3 Briefly explain how you plan to gain access to prospective research participants Principle and head of English department have granted permission.

Section 4 (a)

1.

I have read and discussed with my supervisor the British Educational Research Associations Revised Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research (BERA, 2004) and/or guidelines of the appropriate professional association where relevant.

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2.

I have read and discussed with my supervisor the Code of Research Conduct and Research Ethics of the University of Nottingham: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/fabs/rgs/documents/code-of-research-conduct-and-research-ethics-approved-january-2010.pdf I am aware of and have discussed with my supervisor http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/19980029.htm the relevant sections of the Data Protection Act (1998):

3.

4.

Data gathering activities involving schools and other organizations will be carried out only with the agreement of the head of school/organization, or an authorised representative, and after adequate notice has been given. Written permission (e.g. email) will need to have been seen by your supervisor. The purpose and procedures of the research, and the potential benefits and costs of participating (e.g. the amount of their time involved), will be fully explained to prospective research participants at the outset. My full identity will be revealed to potential participants. Prospective participants will be informed that data collected will be treated in the strictest confidence and will only be reported in anonymised form, but that I will be forced to consider disclosure of certain information where there are strong grounds for believing that not doing so will result in harm to research participants or others, or (the continuation of) illegal activity. All potential participants will be asked to give their explicit, normally written consent to participating in the research, and, where consent is given, separate copies of this will be retained by both researcher and participant. In addition to the consent of the individuals concerned, the signed consent of a parent, guardian or responsible other will be required to sanction the participation of minors (i.e. persons under 16 years of age) or those whose intellectual capability o r other vulnerable circumstance may limit the extent to which they can be expected to understand or agree voluntarily to undertake their role. (BERA, 2004, para 14-16). Undue pressure will not be placed on individuals or institutions to participate in research activities. The treatment of potential research participants will in no way be prejudiced if they choose not to participate in the project. I will provide participants with my contact details (and those of my supervisor), in order that they are able to make contact in relation to any aspect of the research, should they wish to do so. Participants will be made aware that they may freely withdraw from the project at any time without risk or prejudice.

5. 6.

x x

7.

8.

9.

10. 11. 12. 13.

x x x

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14.

Research will be carried out with regard for mutually convenient times and negotiated in a way that seeks to minimise disruption to schedules and burdens on participants. I have considered carefully to what extent, if any, my research might expose me to any kind of risk to my personal safety. I have also discussed this with my supervisor, and appropriate steps taken to respond to any risks identified. Where such a strategy has been agreed, a record of it is attached to this submission. At all times during the conduct of the research I will behave in an appropriate, professional manner and take steps to ensure that neither myself nor research participants are placed at risk. The dignity and interests of research participants will be respected at all times, and steps will be taken to ensure that no harm will result from participating in the research. The views of all participants in the research will be respected. Special efforts will be made to be sensitive to differences relating to age, culture, disability, race, sex, religion and sexual orientation, amongst research participants, when planning, conducting and reporting on the research. Data generated by the research (e.g. transcripts of research interviews) will be kept in a safe and secure location and will be used purely for the purposes of the research project (including dissemination of findings). No-one other than research colleagues, supervisors or examiners will have access to any of the data collected. Research participants will have the right of access to any data kept on them. All necessary steps will be taken to protect the privacy and ensure the anonymity and non-traceability of participants e.g. by the use of pseudonyms, for both individual and institutional participants, in any written reports of the research and other forms of dissemination. Where possible, research participants will be provided with a summary of research findings and an opportunity for debriefing after taking part in the research. Does your research involve (please tick ALL that apply):

x x

15.

16. 17. 18. 19.

x x x x x

20. 21. 22. 23.

x x x

24.

Schools?

Vulnerable Adults?

X (16 years
old)

Children?

None of these groups?

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a) Will your research be conducted in (please tick ONE BOX only): UK only? 25. b) If outside the UK, please name the country(ies) involved: South Korea x Outside the UK only? UK and outside the UK?

b)

26.

FOR ALL STUDENTS UNDERTAKING RESEARCH INVOLVING SCHOOLS, CHILDREN (UNDER 18) AND/OR VULNERABLE ADULTS AT A LOCATION WHERE THE STUDENT IS NOT CURRENTLY COVERED BY AN EXISTING ENHANCED CRIMINAL RECORDS BUREAU (CRB) DISCLOSURE I have received Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) disclosure through the University of Nottingham and the School of Education Postgraduate Office has the reference number. This applies even when data are collected outside of the UK. NB: All students must remember to apply for their University of Nottingham CRB disclosure when they are visiting the UK. FOR ALL NON UK STUDENTS

27.

I have received a Certificate of Good Conduct (where one is available)* and the School of Education CRB Coordinators have a copy of this**.

* Countries that produce a Certificate of Good Conduct are: Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Irish Republic, Italy, Jamaica, Latvia, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden & Turkey. ** UK students who have lived in one of the above countries for 6 months or more may also need to apply for one of these .

Section 4 (b) Please provide further information below in relation to any of the above statements which you have not been able to tick, explaining in each case why the suggested course of action is not appropriate:

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26. I am using date collected rountinely. 27. Does not exist in South Korea.

When you have completed Sections 1-4 email the form to the relevant supervising tutor, together with:

(1) a draft information sheet to be provided to prospective participants; (2) a draft consent form to be used with prospective participants.

Section 5 Supervising tutor I have discussed the proposed research outlined on this form with the student and I am satisfied that the work will be carried out with due regard to ethical protocol and participants interests.

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NAME:

Barbara Sinclair

Date:

Section 6 Course Leader/ second reviewer I have reviewed the proposed research outlined on this form and I am satisfied that the work will be carried out with due regard to ethical protocol and participants interests.

NAME: Jane Evison

Date:

Note to supervising tutor: Please email the completed form to the course leader who will forward the final version to the appropriate administrative assistant. When the Course Leader is also Supervising Tutor (Section 5) they should get a second member of their course team to check and review the form. The administrative assistant will email the student (cc yourself and course leader) with confirmation of ethical approval to begin collecting data and proceed to the next stage of the dissertation.
Updated 10/10/2012

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