Empirical Research on the Effects of Self-assessment in Self-regulated Learning on Cultivation of Non-English Major Learner Autonomy
|Course||English Language and Literature|
|Keywords||Self-regulated learning Metacognitive strategies Self-assessment Learner autonomy|
This study takes self-regulated learning theory proposed by B. J. Zimmerman of the social cognitive school as research framework to explore how learners effectively plan, organize, monitor and assess their learning process and how to cultivate their self-regulatory learning competence and autonomous learning competence. The subjects of the study were grade-one Medical Clinic majors from the university in which the author teaches. This study investigates whether there exists interrelation among metacognitive strategies, self-assessment and self-regulatory learning; whether the self-regulatory learning competence can be cultivated in the learning process; whether learners’autonomous learning competence is also improved at the same time after a practice of self-assessment based on metacognitive strategies training through the survey of a 55-item LA questionnaire and a 27-item MS questionnaire.The research methodology employed in this study combined quantitative research with qualitative research. First of all, questionnaires were carried out in both EG class and CG class to explore all the students’overall level of autonomous learning and their knowledge of metacognitive strategies, at the same time English proficiency test was given. According to the questionnaires, almost all the students were passive in learning. Consequently, an eight-week long metacognitive strategies training was conducted among students in EG class with a view to fostering their capacity in goal-setting and planning, self-monitoring and self-evaluation. Moreover, a sixteen-week long practice of self-assessment was also conducted in EG class under teacher’s instruction. Finally, students’autonomous learning ability and their English proficiency were tested again among all the subjects at the end of the research to investigate whether the practice of self-assessment based on metacognitive strategies training effectively influenced their autonomous learning. Students’self-assessment took many forms including setting up electronic portfolios of language learning, evaluating their activities in and outside of classroom and their learning results, collecting journals, class observation, assessment of their own English competence by selves and peers, conducting interviews and holding meetings, which allowed students’learning processes to be subjected to observation, evaluation and regulation, and contributed to the enhancement of their learning efficiency.This study is conducted to investigate the following four research questions:(1) To what extent do freshmen of non-English major conduct autonomous L2 learning and how is their level of learner autonomy?1) What are their attitudes towards learner autonomy?2) Can they set their study goals in autonomous learning?3) Can they implement the learning strategies in autonomous learning?4) Can they monitor their autonomous learning process?5) Can they evaluate their autonomous learning?(2) Does MS training affect students’self-regulatory learning?(3) Does instruction and practice of self-assessment effectively affect students’ self-regulatory competence and their learner autonomy?(4) Does improvement of students’learner autonomy influence their academic achievements?Through quantitative and qualitative analysis, the study comes to the following conclusions:1) The overall learner autonomy level of non-English majors was relatively low before this study. They were very unskillful in implementing learning strategies, self-monitoring and self-evaluating in their learning process. Fortunately, their attitudes towards learner autonomy and motivation were positive enough so that they were willing to accept new form of learning and teaching; 2) Training of MS could foster students’consciousness of self-regulatory learning in the aspects of goal-setting and planning, self-monitoring and self-assessment; 3) Instruction and practice of self-assessment positively and significantly influence learners’ self-regulatory competence and learner autonomy; 4) The development of students’ learner autonomy can positively influence their academic achievements.