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Other research product . 2022

Learner Autonomy in English Language Learning and Factors Influencing Learner Autonomy in the Context of Vietnam: Non-English-Major Students’ Perceptions

Nguyen Van Son;
Open Access
Published: 24 Jun 2022
Country: Hungary

This research project investigated the perceptions of learner autonomy (LA) in the context of EFL tertiary education in Vietnam as well as the factors that may influence the development of LA among non-English-major students. Questionnaires and interviews were used to collect data. A total of 1,565 students completed the survey questionnaires and 13 of whom participated in the interviews. Two types of data were collected at the same time before the mixed data analysis with the support of SPSS version 24.0, SmartPLS3, and SPSS AMOS for quantitative data and ATLAS.ti for qualitative data. The findings from two strands were compared, contrasted, and mixed to elucidate the research questions. The conceptualization of LA is consistently both theoretically from the literature and empirically. LA defined in this study consisted of four related facets including beliefs about teacher’s role, motivation and desire to learn English, metacognition in language learning, and freedom. In general, the participating students described proactive autonmoy and showed the positivity to LA; however, as they perceived, they appeared to lack LA in several ways. The students demonstrated high levels of motivation and desire to learn English and sound metacognitive knowledge about the self and the learning context. Still, they believed that the teachers were really of importance to their learning process and they held high expectations for their teachers. Besides, there was a lack of metacognitive skills (i.e., planning, monitoring, and evaluating) and metacognive knowledge about language matters and learning process. Moreover, communicating with the teachers with regard to learning issuse was not undertaken as it should be. The out-of-class activities were not frequently engaged in, except for two entertaining activities. Their exercise of LA, from their persepctive, was affected by two types of factors, namely internal (e.g., desire, motivation, metacognition, and language proficiency) and external (e.g., teacher’s activities, social environment, curriculum, and peers). The former was believed to exert a greater influence on LA than the latter. On the basis of the students’ understandings of LA and the LA-influencing factors, the study offered fundamental implications about how to cultivate the students’ LA, which is considered an important capacity to promote in tertiary education, both inside and outside classrooms, as one way to nurture lifelong learning (Dam, 2012; Yurdakul, 2017). Therefore, the involvement of many different stakeholders in the educational system is really necessary. The research brought about insights into LA and the factors that influence LA, as perceived by non-English-major students in Vietnam. Besides, the study contributed to the literature on LA and language learning in an Asian context from the learners’ perspective. Furthermore, the findings practically informed the relevant stakeholders such as lecturers, educators, curriculum planners, and policy makers through implications to foster LA especially in the hard times of COVID 19 pandemic.


05.03. Oktatástudomány

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