Web 2.0 technologies have become an ubiquitous component of our daily lives (McBride, 2009), and their immediate exploitation in the field of second/foreign language education came as no surprise. The present study aims at examining students’ comprehension of independent learning and their views about whether using online tools combined with the use of a self-access learning center (SALC) helps in some way with their learning process. The participants are all freshman students at Hirosaki University, Japan, enrolled in compulsory or elective English courses ranging from elementary to advanced levels. Over a period of one year, Edmodo, a free online learning platform, is used in EFL classes in order to enhance students' learning. In addition, in order to foster independent learning, students are also encouraged to use a semi-guided SALC at Hirosaki University, Japan. In order to gather as much insight as possible on students’ perceptions about using a SALC in addition to online tools, data is collected through informal group interviews and questionnaires. The results show that (1) some students are not comfortable using a SALC or Edmodo for various reasons, and (2) are not used to take responsibility for their own learning. The presenter will argue the relevancy and need of independent learning and learner autonomy in the Japanese context. McBride, K. (2009). Social-networking sites in foreign language classes: Opportunities for re-creation. In L. Lomicka & G. Lord (Eds.), The next generation: Social networking and online collaboration in foreign language learning (pp. 35-58). San Marcos, Texas: CALICO.
Roxana Sandu, Hirosaki University, Japan
Stream: Web 2.0 technologies in the classroom
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