Facilitating Japanese College Students’ Autonomous Learning Outside the English Classroom

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Tomoko Yabukoshi, Nihon University; Kazue Kato, Nihon University

This study explored the effectiveness of an autonomous learning support program implemented with 23 Japanese college students to promote self-instructed English learning outside the classroom. The program incorporated the following five learning activities: language learning strategies, setting goals, making plans, reflecting and self-evaluating, and receiving feedback from an English teacher, all of which have been considered significant elements of autonomous learning (Benson, 2011; Holec, 1981). At the end of the program, an original questionnaire was administered to the students. English proficiency test scores and evaluation sheets recorded by their teachers were also collected. Analyses of the data showed that: (1) the program had positive impacts on out-of-class learning, such as increasing student motivation, clarifying learning goals, increasing study time, and improving English proficiency; and (2) the students were likely to have difficulties following their study plans when they had less contact with their teachers and classmates.