Volume 12, Issue 1 (2021)                   LRR 2021, 12(1): 427-456 | Back to browse issues page


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Vakilifard A, Sabokbar H. Autonomy in Second LanguageLearning: Persian Language Learners’ Perceptions of Their Responsibilities,Abilities and Motivations. LRR. 2021; 12 (1) :427-456
URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-37492-en.html
1- Associate professor, Departement of Teaching Persian to Speakers of Other Languages, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran , vakilifard@hum.ikiu.ac.ir
2- Master of Teaching Persian to Speakers of Other Languages, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran
Abstract:   (1100 Views)

Persian language learners have to attain an acceptable proficiency in Persian language at Iranian universities in a short period of time. The teacher-centered teaching environment has thus been modified to become a learner-centered learning environment, so that Persian learners are able to achieve autonomy and control their own learning process. In this regard, the current study investigates Non-Iranian Persian learners’ readiness for autonomy. To collect data, 155 advanced level Persian learners participated in this research. Tamer’s questionnaire (2013) comprised of four sections including responsibilities, abilities, motivations and activities done inside and outside the classroom, was applied. The answers of Persian learners suggested a discrepancy between responsibilities section and the other three sections including: abilities, motivation, and activities performed inside and outside the classroom. They assigned most of the learning responsibilities to teachers. Thus they considered themselves able, and motivated to learn Persian autonomously. Furthermore, Persian learners viewed themselves active in performing inside and outside the classroom. This could be ascribed to Persian learners’ lack of confidence. Furthermore, statistical investigations showed an inverted and significant relationship between Persian learners’ perception of responsibilities and activities performed inside the classroom. On the other hand, a direct and significant relationship was found between Persian learners’ abilities, motivation, and activities performed inside and outside the classroom. Moreover, a direct and significant relationship was found between motivation and performance inside and outside the classroom. Another finding of the current study was the existence of direct and significant relationship between activities performed inside and outside the classroom.
 
Applicants who intend to study in Iranian universities must learn Persian language over a short time span and master the language considerably. For this reason, while learning from their teachers, they must take responsibility for their own learning. In general, in recent years second language teaching has observed a change from teacher-centered pedagogy to learner-centered pedagogy in order to encourage learners to assume responsibility for their own learning and achieve autonomy.
Before discussing how Persian language learners could achieve autonomy, one needs to know their level of readiness to become autonomous, as well as their needs and shortcomings in this matter. Thus, the present study examined non-Iranian Persian language learners' readiness to become autonomous and sought to answer these questions: 1. What understanding do Persian learners have of their own responsibilities, abilities, motivations, and out-of-class and in-class activities? 2. What is the relationship between Persian learners' abilities and their motivation, out-of-class activities, and in-class activities? 3. What is the relationship between Persian students' motivation and their out-of-class and in-class activities?
The subjects included 155 non-Iranian Persian language learners whose proficiency level was advanced. To collect data, Tamer Questionnaire (2013) was used which had four sections of responsibilities, abilities, motivation, and out-of-class and in-class activities. Responsibilities section examined Persian learners' perspectives on the responsibility of learning Persian. The purpose of the abilities section was to examine the learners' ability to learn Persian independently and without the help of a teacher. The motivation section examined Persian learners' level of motivation to learn Persian language. The activities section covered out-of-class and in-class activities that Persian learners had voluntarily done since the beginning of the school year. Participants answered the questions on a Likert scale. At the end of the questionnaire, an open response section was added so that the learners could offer their suggestions for the betterment of Persian language teaching at the universities.
Findings of the questionnaire in the responsibilities section indicated that, in the first place, Persian language learners consider language learning as the joint responsibility of themselves and their teachers. In the second place, they considered only teachers as responsible, and in the third place, they considered themselves responsible for learning. In the case of in-class activities, they considered teachers to be responsible, but in the case of out-of-class activities they considered themselves responsible. In the abilities section, Persian learners assessed their ability to learn without the help of a teacher as "good" in the first place and "average" in the second place. In the motivation section, Persian students considered themselves to have the necessary motivation to learn Persian. In the activities section, Persian students declared themselves somewhat active inside and outside the classroom. In the final section, Persian learners made suggestions for the improvement of Persian language teaching. In general, Persian students' answers indicated a kind of contradiction between the responsibilities section and the abilities, motivation, and out-of-class and in-class activities. Findings showed that Persian learners considered themselves to have the necessary abilities and motivation to learn Persian autonomously and considered themselves active in out-of-class and in-class activities, yet they placed most of the responsibility for learning on the teachers. This issue could be explained in terms of Persian students' educational dependence on teachers. This dependence may be due to the educational environment in Iran or in the countries from which Persian learners come. Further analyses showed that Persian learners do not have enough self-confidence.
In summary, authors of this study conclude that, along with teaching language, teaching autonomous learning to Persian language learners could help increase their self-confidence. The authors of this study also consider the response of Persian learners to the activities section as positive and as an expression of their desire to learn autonomously. In addition, statistical analyses confirmed this assertion and showed that there was a significant inverse relationship between students' perceptions of responsibilities and their in-class activities. On the other hand, there was a direct and significant relationship between Persian students' abilities and their motivation and out-of-class and in-class activities, as well as between their motivation and their out-of-class and in-class activities.

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Article Type: مقالات علمی پژوهشی | Subject: language teaching
Published: 2021/03/21

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