Importance Of Self-Directed Learning

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As the review of the literature has shown, there are a number of key skills which learners are able to employ if they successfully assume full control of the learning process. This section of the paper addresses these methodological aspects of self-directed learning, offering concrete ideas for teachers wishing to help their students develop these skills. To lend a degree of structure to the introduction of activities to help learners acquire these skills, four phases of a self-directed learning cycle were identified and are used as a basic framework. These have been developed and adapted from Holec’s (1981) account of autonomy and Chamot et al.’s (1999) strategy inventory: planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating.
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As Nunan says: ‘learners who have reached a point where they are able to define their own goals and create their own learning opportunities have, by definition, become autonomous’ (1999, 145). Goal setting helps learners focus on their study. Learners may have one or two overall goals, but may also choose to set themselves more manageable weekly goals which will help them achieve their more general goals. Moreover, learners should be encouraged to view the course as one element in achieving their own goals, and to seek out additional support or opportunities for practice, if needed. In addition, having clear goals allows learners to focus on those aspects of the class that is most relevant to…show more content…
Additionally, evaluation generally takes place when learners have been undertaking self-directed study for a certain period of time, usually at least a month. The main way in which an evaluation can be conducted is a controlled comparison. This is only possible if learners have investigated and recorded their original skill level in their goal areas during the planning process and have kept a study record of the work they have been doing. For example, having made a recording of a conversation on a certain topic before starting their study, they may now decide to record a similar conversation and compare the two recordings. By comparing their level after engaging in some study with their skill, learners can determine whether the way they have been learning that has had the effect on their language proficiency in the focus area. If this is not as their thoughts, they will have to examine their study plan and change it to better fit their goals. Evaluation can work well in the context of classroom activities where teachers can ask learners on completion of a task to evaluate their own performance and to suggest ways in which they could improve in the future. This is particularly useful if learners have the chance to re-do the task. By taking the time to introduce this element to a classroom task,
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