A reflective account of two Hong Kong sub-degree college students engaged in independent learning of English as a second language

Lam, C.Y., 2018. A reflective account of two Hong Kong sub-degree college students engaged in independent learning of English as a second language. EdD, Nottingham Trent University.

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In this paper I report upon a qualitative investigation of independent language learning (ILL) by two Hong Kong sub-degree students who studied English as a second language. They are myself and one of my students. I start with a contextual discussion which facilitates understanding of the specific language environment in which the learning took place. Data was collected by means of an innovative set of tools, including memory bag, personal narrative and semi-structured interviews, as well as an innerview, a new research method developed from this study. Utilising thematic analysis, five main themes were identified, namely ILL motivation, ILL autonomy, ILL outcomes, relationship between ILL and formal curriculum and parental influence on ILL.

Evidence from this study highlights the contribution of positive parental influence and the influence of the formal curriculum on effective ILL. Factors of successful ILL strategies include whether they are interactive, perceived as interesting, convenient and accessible, functional and inexpensive. However, ILL learners in this study encountered learning challenges, such as self-discipline, self-motivation and lack of expertise to choose appropriate learning and assessment strategies.

I conclude that ILL increased the language proficiency of myself and the other participant, but it also, and perhaps more importantly, contributed to development of confidence in relation to learning a second language independently. As an English language teacher, learner and researcher, the findings of the study contribute to the potential for myself and other teachers to raise awareness of our lifelong ILL. Furthermore, a key finding from this study shows that more in-depth self-reflexive data can be generated by innerview than by personal narrative when constructing an autoethnographic account.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Lam, C.Y.
Date: June 2018
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed in the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Education
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 21 Jun 2019 12:58
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2019 12:58
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/36894

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