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The Role of Autonomous Learner in Improving his English Language Proficiency - Thesis Proposal Example

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The Role of Autonomous Learner in Improving his English Language Proficiency

This project seeks to discover to what extent the beginning learner can gain fluency in the English language autonomously. . Background Those people who want to learn English have various learning styles, socio-economic and time constraints. Some people, though intelligent, do not score well on tests and do not perform well in a classroom context, especially one based on rote memorization, authoritarian leadership and one-way communication. Many students struggle with learning contexts that leave them confused. Perhaps their learning styles are not addressed. Perhaps their cognitive processes are organized too differently than the instructor’s or maybe they are intimidated by competition. Perhaps their attention is disengaged, due to lack of direct participation or because they are pragmatically-oriented and the material lacks an application emphasis. Gardiner’s (1983) theory of multiple intelligences suggests that each person has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses among various common areas (bodily-kinesthetic, linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, naturalistic, interpersonal, intrapersonal intelligence). Autonomous learning could be a practical solution for various types of students because it encourages learners to individually tailor their learning experiences, using what works and discarding what does not. Training learners to utilize autonomous learning makes good sense. In my experience as an English teacher, I have seen how language learners can improve their language proficiency, if they are minimally guided. When they are asked to do something autonomously at home, they can do it and I use that as a foundation for classroom learning, For example, when students are asked to practice listening at home, specifically to listen to any native English programs, at the end of a designated time period, when the teacher brings a cassette to listen to, for the first time they can understand it, Proponents of the autonomy concept, in the field of language education, strongly advocate this kind of approach because they recognize that autonomous learners have personal strategies and insights into their own learning styles; they can take an active approach to the learning task; they are willing to take risks (i.e., to communicate in the target language at all costs); they can develop the target language; and they are tolerant toward the target language (Thanasoulas 2000). Significance I believe this study, though on a relatively small scale, is of great importance because the field of autonomous learning demands to be enriched with new research findings, particularly cross-cultural findings, This project would contribute to an intriguing field of vast applicability. Most adults learn a foreign language. Most schools teach foreign languages and it is no popular secret that taking a foreign language course at school generally fails to result in language proficiency. It is vital to consider alternative methods of learning. It is important to find out to what extent the language learner can learn language without a formal classroom structure. It is worthwhile to investigate whether the beginning learner can learn independently without referring to a teacher. It is worthwhile to investigate whether, if the learner is trained to learn autonomously and is learning within a well-designed program which ...Show more
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Dissertation Research Proposal Working Title The Role of the Autonomous Learner in Improving English Language Proficiency Statement of Purpose This thesis explores the role of the learner in improving English language autonomously. When a motivated beginning learner is given a base of knowledge about autonomous learning, and trained to be autonomous, with minimal oversight, will the learner master the language?…
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