Hiroshima Studies in Language and Language Education Issue 9
2006-03-31 発行


Out-of-class learning of English a foreign language : A preliminary study
This article reports on a preliminary study on college students' out-of-class learning of English as a foreign language. This survey was conducted with the intention of gaining insights about what is necessary to promote students' independent learning. Teachers of English as a foreign language hope that students study the language even without their supervision. This reflects one of the difficulties that college foreign language education faces. The number of class hours is so limited that classroom teaching can hardly realize solely the goals of foreign language education at college, which include high standards such as helping students attain high proficiency in English for academic and occupational purposes. One way to overcome this limitation is to promote students' independent learning. A questionnaire was administered to 21 1 students, mostly freshmen and sophomores, at Hiroshima University. Items include those which reveal what they do to learn English outside the classroom and those which ask about their views about independent learning, specifically, their willingness to learn independently and their perceived ability to take control of their own learning. About 200f the students are found to conduct out-of-class learning. Most of them reported they use commercially-available teach-yourself materials. The most popular type of materials is those for test-preparation, Although a lot of students do not do anything to learn English outside the classroom, more than 8527777747040f them said that they want to start learning English independently, indicating high willingness to learn independently. However, more that 6026651125000f them said they are not sure what they can do to learn the language. Perceived low ability was also observed among the students who have been learning independently. These results suggest that in order to promote out-of-class study, classroom instruction should incorporate learner training.