The impact of collaborative instruction of language learning strategies on language learning beliefs and learner autonomy
Fatemeh Khonamri – Martina Pavlikova – Fatemeh Ansari – Natalia L. Sokolova – Andrey V. Korzhuev – Elena V. Rudakova
Research on the relationship among language learning strategy, language learning beliefs and autonomy abounds in the literature. However, few studies have explored the possibility of promoting learners’ autonomy and changing their beliefs through instructing language learning strategies in a collaborative manner. In addition, most of the earlier investigations have been carried out through purely cognitive or sociocultural perspectives employing solely quantitative or qualitative methods. Using a socio-cognitive framework, the present study aimed at first, identifying the relationships among language learning beliefs, language learning strategies, and learner autonomy; and second, investigating the role of collaboration in using language learning strategies that would eventually lead to autonomy and change of beliefs. To collect data, a mixed-method design was applied. An autonomy questionnaire, Horwitz's BALLI (Beliefs about Language Learning Inventory, 1987) and Oxford's SILL (Strategy Inventory for Language Learning, 1990) were given to177 EFL learners at the University of Mazandaran in Iran. To supplement the quantitative data with qualitative data, negotiated interviews and the learners' self-reflection notes were used. The analysis was done using paired sample T-tests, SEM and also content analysis. The findings revealed that language learning beliefs affected the learners' autonomy through the mediation of language learning strategies. However, the instruction of the strategies did not have any effects on the learners' autonomy but it helped in changing their language learning beliefs. The qualitative analysis also led to identifying some categories, subcategories and their relationships to and effects on each other.
Key words: Autonomy, language learning strategies, language learning beliefs, cooperation