Conceptions of language learning beyond the classroom: exploring language learning ecologies and careers
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 14:49 authored by Mayumi Kashiwa
This research explored changes in Asian learner’s conceptions of the relationship between in-class and out-of-class English language learning during pre-university study abroad in Australia. Ecology of language learning is employed as a theoretical framework to examine the impact of study abroad experience as an environmental change on students’ conceptions and pathways of language learning. The key elements of constructing a learning environment examined in the literature review include learner agency/autonomy, conceptions and beliefs, and metacognitive awareness of language learning. The participants were ten international students who enrolled in a ten-week pre-university English course at a university English Language Centre. This qualitative research was conducted through multiple data sources; namely, semi-structured in-depth interviews, diaries, and class observation. Narrative inquiry is employed as the method for analysing the data. Findings show that learners’ conceptions of learning English at home changed while studying in Australia through out-of-class learning experiences. The integration of in-class and out-of-class learning through increased opportunities to use English in both contexts can influence changes of conception associated with language learning. The narrative analysis enables the examination of the degree of change in their conceptions as patterns of students’ language learning pathways, and shows individual differences in the change process.