Computer-based materials: a study of learner autonomy and strategies
Jarvis, HA and Figura, KA 2007, 'Computer-based materials: a study of learner autonomy and strategies' , System, 35 (4) , pp. 448-468.
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This paper reports on a study which examines the extent to which specified cognitive, social, and metacognitive strategies, are used by language students when working with computer-based materials (CBMs), in self-study contexts outside of the language classroom; particularly in a self-access centre (SAC). Data were collected using questionnaires, interviews and snap-shot observations from English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students enrolled on a summer course at a British Higher Education Institution (HEI). The data identify the frequency with which students use a SAC and the value they attach to computers for language learning. The data then examine the types of strategies students use and the extent to which learner autonomy is being fostered. The vast majority of participants were found to have positive attitudes towards computer-based material (CBMs) and language learning despite frequent use of L1, furthermore they were found to use cognitive strategies and to apply metacognitive awareness in their use of such CBMs. Students believed CBMs assisted with learning and demonstrated conscious applications of a range of strategies while learning in an electronic environment. However, the study also found that less than half the students used social strategies in the target language and this raises a number of issues.
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