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The Effect of Chinese ESL Learners’ Beliefs on their Autonomous Learning

Author(s): Qunyan Zhong

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

Volume: 1;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 212;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Chinese learners | autonomy | autonomous learning | learners’ beliefs | self-efficacy | learning behavior

What beliefs do Chinese learners hold about language learning? What is the effect of these beliefs on their autonomous learning? These are the two questions that this study aims to address. I employed naturalistic inquiry (Lincoln & Guba, 1985) to investigate five Chinese ESL learners’ beliefs about language learning and their learning behaviour. A number of instruments (interviews, classroom observations and stimulated recall, learning logs) were used to collect triangulated data over a 12-week period. Following standard procedures of qualitative data analysis, I identified five categories of learners’ beliefs. The results revealed that the beliefs that the learners held were context-specific, reflecting their learning experiences. Some of them were conducive to learning autonomy while others were not. The beliefs influenced the level of the learners’ autonomy. The study suggests that educators should take into account learners’ beliefs when promoting autonomous learning.
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