Constructing concepts of learner autonomy in language education in the Chinese context : a narrative-based inquiry into university students' conceptions of successful English language learning
Jiang, Xiaoli, 1975- (2008) Constructing concepts of learner autonomy in language education in the Chinese context : a narrative-based inquiry into university students' conceptions of successful English language learning. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b2242354~S15
The present study aims to explore Chinese learners' conceptions of learner
autonomy from learners' perspective since researchers in language education
argue that concepts of learner autonomy may bear cultural imprints and recent
college English language education reform in China sets learner autonomy as a
The study first presents general background and an introduction to the research
context. There follows a comprehensive literature review, tracking origins of the
concept of learner autonomy in the fields of philosophy, general education, and
language education, with distinctive 'Western' and 'Chinese' emphases. This is
followed by a review of relevant research on learner autonomy in language
education, which consists of research on learner autonomy as a concept, as a
means for effective learning, relationships with culture, and methodological
issues. To investigate Chinese learners' conceptions of learner autonomy, the
study adopted a mixed research approach to collect data: with a qualitative
method as the main research method to capture in-depth understandings of
learners' conceptions, and a quantitative method as a supplementary one to
support qualitative data findings and at the same time reveal further diversity.
Moreover, to avoid any imposition of learner autonomy theory pre-occupied in
the researcher's mind, the study does not ask directly about learner autonomy to
learners but instead examines whether concepts of learner autonomy are
embedded in students' accounts of successful English language learning.
The study involved 27 interviews and a questionnaire survey of 450 college
English language learners among three different Chinese universities. The main
findings of the study are as follows: 1) Both 'Western' and 'Chinese' emphases
and core elements of learner autonomy are found in Chinese learners'
conceptions of successful English language learning; 2) Chinese learners'
conceptions of learner autonomy are found to exist in two distinctive domains:
learner autonomy for academic success (LAAS) and learner autonomy for
communicative competence (LACC). 3) Learners' conceptions of learner
autonomy can be influenced by different sources: political, economical, social,
cultural, and individual. 4) Learners' conceptions of learner autonomy are
dynamic, and subject to various factors such as progress of level of education
and individual language learning experiences.
Based on the data findings, a reconsideration of concepts of learner autonomy
drawn out from students' conceptions of successful English language learning is
discussed, which combines 'Western', 'Chinese' emphases and core elements of
learner autonomy, associated behaviours, and sources of influences on them.
This reconstruction of the concept of learner autonomy in the Chinese context
contributes to a better understanding of learner autonomy theory. The research
has important implications for policy makers, teachers, parents, and students in
understanding learner autonomy from learners' perspectives and for research
into concepts of learner autonomy in different contexts.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||L Education > LB Theory and practice of education|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Learner autonomy -- China, College students -- China, English language -- Study and teaching -- Chinese speakers|
|Official Date:||January 2008|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Centre for English Language Teacher Education|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Smith, Richard C., 1961- ; Rixon, Shelagh|
|Extent:||xviii, 481 leaves|
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