Shaping Self-awareness, Introspection and Resilience: Why Language Learners Need Training in Reflective Writing

Abstract

Committing to language learning is an emotional endeavour (Dewaele, 2015) that requires individuals to make a staggering number of decisions about how, what and why they learn. In particular, self-directed learning requires individuals to critically assess and subsequently modify contextual and situational conditions (Gao, 2013) to allow for the optimal pursuit of their language goals. The reflexivity and reflection necessary for the assessment and modification of conditions is not an innate skill and university-level language learners need training in order to become self-aware, emotionally-resilient autonomous learners. In this presentation, we demonstrate learners enrolled in a supplementary, self-directed learning module benefit from explicit training to hone their reflective skills and articulate their feelings. During the piloting stage, a sample of reflections were analysed using Fleck and Fitzpatrick’s Levels of Reflection (2010). The results were shared with our team during a professional development workshop and feedback was thematically analysed for its relevance to the further development of the reflective training activities. Reflections from modified training activities were analysed in the same manner as the pilot. Implications for language educators include the need for reflection training to be ongoing, to facilitate cycles of introspective questioning and to encourage learners to identify, understand and embrace the emotions involved in reflective writing. Instructional supports that explicitly outline the textual structure, content and linguistic features of reflections are advocated for due to their supportive role in developing learners' reflective skills.



Author Information
Huw Davies, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan
Amelia Yarwood, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACL2022
Stream: Language Learning and Teaching

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Posted by amp21