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A Framework for the Evaluation of a Self-Access Language Learning Centre

Author(s): Bruce Morrison

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

Volume: 2;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 241;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: self-access centres | evaluation | success story

For self-access language learning centres (SACs) to be accepted as efficient and effective alternatives or complements to more established modes of language learning and teaching, it is of serious concern that there is no research-based framework specifically developed for their evaluation. In this paper, a framework for the evaluation of a SAC is proposed which aims to recognize both the elements common to most SACs as well as the diversity inherent in a centre that predicates upon learner individuality. The study upon which this paper reports employed a grounded theory methodology examining data collected from participants representing various SAC stakeholder roles and subsequently proposing an evaluation framework consisting of 4 elements: context, key questions, decisions and actions. These elements, although presented individually, are interdependent and provide the framework with a multidimensional aspect that allows the evaluation team to carefully plan the various aspects of the evaluation while at the same time ensuring that these are brought together to ensure coherence in terms of aims, methodology and reporting. Central to the framework is recognition that the evaluation should be theory based and thus that it should incorporate a means of clearly representing the particular SAC theory (or mapping) upon which the evaluation is to be focused. The paper concludes with brief discussion of potential implications of the use of such a framework, both theoretical and practical.
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