Learner autonomy: an experimental study of language learning strategies, learning attitudes and motivation through computer assisted language learning (call) among Vietnamese college students

PhD Thesis


Van Han, Nguyen. 2018. Learner autonomy: an experimental study of language learning strategies, learning attitudes and motivation through computer assisted language learning (call) among Vietnamese college students. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

Learner autonomy: an experimental study of language learning strategies, learning attitudes and motivation through computer assisted language learning (call) among Vietnamese college students

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorVan Han, Nguyen
Supervisorvan Rensburg, Henriette
Midgley, Warren
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages254
Year2018
Abstract

This research investigated the effects of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) on Vietnamese students learner autonomy, or more specifically, how three components of learner autonomy, including students use of language learning strategies, students attitudes towards learning English, and their motivation to learn English, changed through CALL within a Learning Management System (LMS). Learner autonomy has been considered as a key strategic focus for educational reforms in Vietnam to encourage students to be more independent and responsible in their language learning. CALL has been found to be effective in fostering learner autonomy in Western countries. However, there is very little research on how CALL can promote learner autonomy in Asian countries, especially in the Vietnamese context where teaching practices and learning behaviors have been strongly influenced by Confucianism.

The research employed qualitative and quantitative methods and was conducted in three phases: the questionnaire validation phase (phase 1); the experimental phase (phase 2); and the interview phase (phase 3). Phase 1 involved validating a questionnaire adapted from previous studies regarding language learning strategies (50 items), attitudes towards learning English (10 items), and motivation to learn English (18 items). Data from 352 students studying at four different colleges in the South of Vietnam were analysed with Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA). The data showed that a new questionnaire (language learning strategies-37 items, attitudes towards learning English-9 items, and motivation to learn English-15 items) was valid and reliable.

In phase 2 of the study, the experiment involved one hundred students and four teachers from College A in the South of Vietnam. The students were randomly assigned to two experimental groups (25 students in each group) and two control groups (25 students in each group). Two control groups were taught by two teachers, with only the current textbook as teaching aid, while the LMS was integrated in two experimental groups. All groups followed the same curriculum during a twelve-week semester. Before and after the experiment, students in the experimental and control groups were asked to fill out the questionnaire validated in phase 1 as the pre-test and post-test. When the experimental phase ended, two teachers and fifteen students from the experimental groups were invited to take part in the interview phase.

The findings revealed before the treatment took place, there was no difference in students‟ language learning strategy use, attitudes and motivation between the experimental and control groups. After the treatment, students in the experimental groups employed significantly more learning strategies, especially in the categories of metacognitive and cognitive strategies. In addition, students in the experimental groups changed their attitudes positively as well as they had greater intrinsic motivation. On the contrary, no significant difference in student language learning strategy use, attitudes and motivation was found in the control groups when the treatment ended. The findings led to the conclusion that CALL had positive effects on fostering Vietnamese students learner autonomy and these findings have implications for English teachers, administrators, teacher educators and for future research in Vietnam.

Keywordslanguage, education, learner autonomy
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020470307. English language
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
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