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The Effects of Applying Betts’ Autonomous Learner Model on Iranian Students

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Author(s): Nahid Yarahmadzehi | Elham Bazleh

Journal: Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal
ISSN 2185-3762

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 310;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Learner Autonomy | Autonomous Learner | Autonomous Learner Model.

ABSTRACT
Classroom-based, teacher-directed language learning has been dominant in language teaching and learning for decades; however, the notion of autonomy is not novel to language teachers. Since the publication of Holec’s book, Autonomy and Foreign Language Learning (1981), autonomy in language learning has been a significant issue for discussion in relation to language learning practices and language teaching principles. Many ESL researchers have turned their attention to learner autonomy in classroom settings; however, learner autonomy in the Iranian context within self-access settings, classroom settings, and school curriculum has not been adequately addressed in the literature. To fill the research gap mentioned above, the present study aims to determine: 1. if Betts’s Autonomous Learner Model (Betts & Kercher, 1999) has any significant effect in terms of students’ self-directed learning readiness, and 2. if Betts’s Autonomous Learner Model has any significant effect on students’ English language proficiency. Adopting a quasi-experimental design, the study involved a comparison between the experimental and the control group. Two instruments were used: Gugliemino’s (1977) Self-Directed Learning Readiness Scale (SDLRS); and standardized TOEFL test. 30 students (group A) were taught English based on a pedagogical model, which blended Betts’s ALM with classroom instruction and 30 students (group B) were taught through a traditional teacher-directed method. Finally, after six months of treatment, TOEFL test and SDLRS test were administered as the post-test and the results were analyzed by means of SPSS software. The results showed that ALM can work with Iranian students as evidenced by generally average performance on SDLRS and TOEFL post-tests.
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