Autonomous curriculum and EFL motivation and learning, the effects of autonomous curriculum approaches on motivation and learning in EFL - a colombian case study at the Universidad de los Andes

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(1)AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 1  . The effects of autonomous curriculum approaches on motivation and learning in EFL: A Colombian case study at the Universidad de los Andes Nicole Bruskewitz Universidad de los Andes.

(2) 2  .  . Acknowledgements The research and learning that made this project possible required that many factors, both institutional and personal, fall into place. The results of over a year of data collection, writing, and reflection would not have been possible without the support of many individuals who I would like to take the opportunity to thank. First, my most heartfelt thanks goes to my parents, Bob Bruskewitz and Pat Chamberlain. For as long as I can remember, they have been inspiring as educators, and my unconditional support in every difficult moment and life project; this thesis was no exception. Also, my deepest gratitude goes to my advisor, Anne-Marie de Mejía who not only writes about empowerment in education, but lives it every day with all everyone she supports in their learning process as educators and people. Thanks to her for exposing me to the world of ideas reflected in the theoretical framework of this paper, and for going the extra mile to assure this project come to a graceful completion. Many thanks to my friends, intellectual companions, and readers of this paper Ricardo Nausa and Beatriz Peña for their comments which pushed my thinking and improved the quality of this paper immensely. Thanks to them too for generally being the example of the kind of understanding, critical, curious educator-researchers I aspire to be. Also, thanks to those at the Universidad de los Andes, Leonor Delgado, Alcira Saavedra, Pamela Wilkie de Holmann, Camilo Quintana and the professors of the English 6 team who supported me as a teacher and student and encouraged my professional growth through their support. Finally, thanks to my students, the participants at the heart of this study, who made me laugh, learn, and love my work through the course of this project..

(3) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 3  . Abstract This is a qualitative case study based in an English as a foreign language (EFL) context within a private research university in Bogotá, Colombia. The objective of this study is to examine the impact of autonomous approaches to language teaching on learner motivation and language development through learner perceptions of these. Specifically, through surveys, learner reflections, and a focus group the study seeks to examine the impact of gradually shifting the locus of control about curricular decisions from teacher to students over the course of three units. Three teaching methodologies, including a teacher-centered approach, Project Based Learning and the Process Syllabus, were used. Results indicated that learners’ perceived increased control over classroom decisions as a factor that positively impacted their motivation. Students also noted that when control about curricular decisions was shared between teacher and learner that this balance of power had the most positive effect on learning. These findings raise questions as to how far shifting the locus of control toward students, that is, incorporating student voice into curricular decisions, may positively impact motivation and language development in other language learning contexts. Furthermore, this study offers some curricular approaches and tasks that might help to promote such a shift. Keywords: autonomy, learner choice, motivation, English as a Foreign Language (EFL), process syllabus.

(4) 4  .  . Table of Contents 1.0 Introduction .................................................................................................................6 1.1 Contextualization: Bilingual and foreign language education in Colombia..............6 1.2 The problem: Top-down decisions and their impacts at the local level ..................10 1.3 Autonomy: Incorporating student voice and choice in the EFL curriculum ..........12 1.4 Justification of the problem: The need for an autonomous approach .....................15 2.0 Theoretical framework..............................................................................................18 2.1 Power and control ...................................................................................................18 2.1.1 Macro vs. micro: Power in society vs. power in the classroom .......................18 2.1.2 The classroom as a site of resistance: Autonomy as a path to empowerment .20 2.2 Autonomy in language learning and teaching .........................................................23 2.2.1 Classroom-based approaches to autonomy...................................................25 2.2.1.1 Experiment in learner-control in Bahrain ......................................26 2.2.1.2 Vocabulary acquisition in autonomous classrooms in Denmark...27 2.2.2 Problem Based Learning: Another approach to learner autonomy in the language classroom................................................................................................29 2.2.3 The Process Syllabus ....................................................................................33 2.3 Motivation in language learning ............................................................................35 2.3.1 Social-psychological paradigm and Gardner’s theory of motivation ...........35 2.3.2 Cognitive approaches to motivation .............................................................37 2.3.3 New approaches to motivation in language learning....................................40.

(5) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 5  . 3.0 Description of the pedagogical intervention ............................................................50 3.1 Context...................................................................................................................50 3.2 Selection of the context..........................................................................................51 3.3 Description of the participants ...............................................................................52 3.4 Selection of Participants ........................................................................................54 3.5 The Intervention.....................................................................................................54 4.0 Methodology ...............................................................................................................57 4.1 Design of the study ................................................................................................57 4.2 Data Collection .....................................................................................................57 4.3 Data Analysis .........................................................................................................58 4.4 Validity ..................................................................................................................59 4.5 Ethics......................................................................................................................61 5.0 Results and Discussion...............................................................................................63 5.1 Tasks and Activities...............................................................................................63 5.1.1 Games and Skits .............................................................................................64 5.1.2 Interviews .......................................................................................................70 5.2 Input .......................................................................................................................81 5.2.1 Linguistic content from the Yellow Book .......................................................82 5.2.2 Multimedia ......................................................................................................86 5.2.3 Peer-led classes................................................................................................93 5.3 Assessment.............................................................................................................95 5.3.1 The Linguafolio ...............................................................................................96 5.3.2 Peer Feedback ...............................................................................................102.

(6)  . 6  . 5.3.3 Teacher Feedback .........................................................................................106 6.0 Conclusions...............................................................................................................109 7.0 References.................................................................................................................116 8.0 Appendices ...............................................................................................................125.

(7) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 7  . 1.0 Introduction 1.1 Contextualization: Bilingual and foreign language education in Colombia In Colombia, as in many parts of the globalizing world, foreign language education, and especially the teaching of English as a foreign language (EFL), is gaining importance (Peña Dix & de Mejía, 2012; Kachru & Nelson, 1996; Usma, 2009). In fact, the Colombian Ministry of Education (MEN in the Spanish acronym) calls learning English “essential”. Additionally, the MEN claims that speaking a second language means that individuals will be able to communicate better, to cross cultures, to appropriate and share knowledge, to understand and make themselves understood, and to play an important role in development of the country1. Being bilingual, in the Ministry’s neutralizing terms, is synonymous with having more knowledge and opportunities in order to be more competent and competitive in the global economy; it is also seen as key to improving the quality of life of all Colombian citizens (Ministerio de Educación, 2012).2 The Colombian government’s growing interest in bilingual and foreign language education is also reflected in the history of language and education policy in the country. In recent decades, the government has created several initiatives. The first was called The English Syllabus and was constructed in conjunction with the MEN and the Centro Colombo Americano, a bi-national English language institute formerly supported by the                                                                                                                  “Ser bilingüe es esencial en un mundo globalizado. El manejo de una segunda lengua significa poderse comunicar mejor, abrir fronteras, comprender otros contextos, apropiar saberes y hacerlos circular, entender y hacernos entender, enriquecerse y jugar un papel decisivo en el desarrollo del país. Ser bilingüe es tener más conocimientos y oportunidades para ser más competentes y competitivos, y mejorar la calidad de vida de todos los ciudadanos.” Retrieved fromhttp://www.mineducacion.gov.co/1621/article-­‐ 97498.html on June 5th, 2012..

(8) 8  .  . United States Embassy, which aimed to address low levels of English proficiency in schools through various strategies. Later (1991-1996), came Proyecto COFE or the Colombian Framework for English, another bilateral project, this time a collaborative effort between the United Kingdom and Colombia, whose goals were mainly focused on English teacher preparation at the university level. The country was officially declared a “multilingual, pluricultural” nation in 1991 in the Political Constitution (Fonseca Duque & de Mejía, 2011, p.71); however, in practice, it was mainly French and English language education that seemed to support that “multilingual, pluricultural” identity label (Usma, 2009). The General Law of Education of 1994 made foreign language education mandatory starting in elementary school (Peña Dix & de Mejía, 2012). It helped to establish learning goals for foreign language education, and was the foundation of future reforms (Valencia, 2007). Soon after, in 1997, the Program of Bilingualism and Information Technology urged the field in new direction by pushing for the incorporation of technology into language pedagogy (Velez-Rendon, 2003 cited in Peña Dix & de Mejía, 2012). While these laws helped to establish a general framework for EFL teaching methods, they at once limited teacher autonomy in the process (Ocampo, 2002 cited in Usma, 2009). The current state of foreign language education in Colombia is predominantly shaped by the most recent governmental initiative from 2004 called Bilingual Colombia 2004-2019, known in Spanish as Colombia Bilingüe or by the Spanish acronym for the term PNB--Plan Nacional de Bilingüismo or National Plan of Bilingualism (Ministerio de Educación Nacional, 2008)..

(9) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 9  . According to the MEN, Bilingual Colombia was an initiative started in response to the role that foreign languages, especially English, play in the global labor market, and in the negotiation of international trade agreements (Usma, 2009) such as the recently signed Free Trade Agreement with the USA . The main goal of the initiative is to make Colombians bilingual in Spanish and English (as measured by the Colombian adaptation of the Common European Framework of Reference, or CEFR) by 2019 (Ministerio de Educación, 2005). Peña Dix & de Mejía, 2012 summarize the more specific goals of the Bilingual Colombia initiative in their translation of this statement of purpose from www.colombiaaprende.edu.co: “This initiative [Bilingual Colombia] aims at educating citizens capable of communicating in English by using internationally comparable standards, enabling the country to facilitate processes of universal communication within the global economy and the promotion of cultural openness” (p. 4). In Colombia, English, more than any other foreign language, is seen as the tool for upward mobility (de Mejia, Tejada & Colmenares, 2006). In fact, the MEN justifies their interest in promoting English language education over any other foreign language based on the economic importance and international appeal of the language (Peña Dix & de Mejía, 2012; Usma, 2009). The justification of the preference toward English preference in the bilingual education is as follows: “[Being bilingual] has different effects concerning the labor market in our country [Colombia]. Professionals who can communicate in and understand a second language are more mobile and flexible in the labor market. They are better prepared to confront a global market; they can propose and develop any sort of business initiative, can.

(10) 10  .  . understand their clients’ needs, can be innovative, and can adapt to changes and the requirements of their environment” (Ministerio de Educación Nacional, 2005, p. 1 cited in Janssen, Nausa, and Rico, in press). This policy, and the language used to justify it, may explain why many students in different educational contexts in Colombia argue that the economic marketability and professional utility of English is a primary motivating factor for learning English (Appendix A). However, many people have expressed concern about the disconnect between the government’s economic interest in teaching English and the actual impact of the policy with respect to the needs and realities of teachers and learners at the grass roots (Guerrero, 2008; Usma, 2009). Although some local practitioners had a voice in shaping the Bilingual Colombia policy (Guerrero, 2008), students’ voices have not yet been incorporated into policy decisions, and as a consequence, are seldom reflected in curriculum realities. As such, there is often a rift between the needs and realities at the classroom level and the lofty goals and vision held by the Ministry of Education about EFL in Colombia. Nevertheless, this issue of student voice with respect to the impacts of language policy at the classroom level is yet to be discussed in the literature on the topic in Colombia. While much of the discussion about the implications of Bilingual Colombia policy at the grassroots level centers on curriculum and instruction in primary and secondary education in public private schools, the impact of the initiative can also be seen in the higher education context. The Universidad de los Andes is a private research university situated within this globalized language scene. In its institutional plan for 2011-2015, Universidad de los Andes specifies four specific goals related to promoting the university and its students in an.

(11) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 11  . international market. “ ‘1.6 Facilitate the internationalization of its programs’(p. 8); ‘2.7 Promote the effective movement of its professors in regional and international spheres’ (p. 9); ‘4.3 Promote the development of research in conjunction with internationally recognized partner universities’ (p. 11); ‘9.3 Maintain an active national and international presence through publications, seminars, and events that promote the critique and debate of themes of public interest’ (Universidad de los Andes, 2011, p. 12 as cited in Janssen, Nausa, & Rico, 2012). 1.2 The problem: Top-down decisions and their impacts at the local level Undoubtedly, the discourse surrounding foreign language education, and the opinion about the international appeal and marketability of learning English are present in the language of the PDI (Plan de Desarrollo Institucional, or Institutional Development Plan) of the Universidad de los Andes. While the global spread of English, and thus its importance as an international lingua franca, is undeniable (Kachru & Nelson, 1996; Pennycook, 2001), it seems that other important elements have been left out of the discourse about foreign language education in Colombia. Usma (2009) draws on Schriewer (1990) and Khamsi (2004) to develop a discussion about a phenomenon he calls “externalization,” in which national governments, and thus local entities, justify the adoption of certain discourses and models of language education based on “external authority” or imaginaries that come from abroad (p.131). Especially problematic are those discourses that reify the purpose of language education by explaining it solely with the capitalist metaphors of “competitiveness” and “productivity”. As a result of the reliance on external authorities, international imaginaries and.

(12) 12  .  . the narrow conception of the reasons for and the mechanisms through which language education should be carried out in Colombia, as well as the dependence on transnational organizations such as the British Council and Cambridge University Press3 for the execution of the PNB, many important local voices have been silenced in the discussion about the what, how, and why of bilingual education in Colombia. Although certain local voices, such as those of leaders of Colombian universities, have been included in the crucial decision making processes surrounding the PNB, the majority of these withdrew from the process when they realized that “their voices were silenced and substituted by European views of language, teaching and learning” (Quintero, 2007 as cited in Usma, 2009). However, absent from Usma’s critiques of the decision making process that has shaped the PNB, and thus educational realities at the local level, is a discussion about how other voices that are important to the foreign language learning process have also been excluded: those of language learners. One can see the mirror image of the power dynamic present at national policy level present in institutions at the local level where student voices also tend to be left out of important discussions about learning. Curricular choices regarding objectives, content, activities, and assessment are made by the few and the powerful (administrators, department heads, professors), whereas the students or other “less powerful” actors are simple asked to agree or validate choices which are already set in stone. To sum up, in both the case of the PNB and the reality of language education at the local level, some actors have a voice and a choice regarding matters that deeply                                                                                                                 3.  The British Council and Cambridge University Press were the two main foreign entities that handled many aspects of the PNB reform such as teacher testing, instructional materials etc. (Usma, 2009).  .

(13) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 13  . impact curriculum, teaching, and learning in the EFL context while other actors (e.g. students) are relegated to silence. Just as the exclusion of local actors from the national discussion leads to a marginalization of “local knowledge” so too does the exclusion of student voices diminish the representation of elements (such as students’ needs, interests, and realities) that are crucial to a meaningful and productive language learning experience from the curriculum and educational experience (Dewey, 1916; Cummins, 2010). 1.3 Autonomy: Incorporating student voice and choice in the EFL curriculum We can see the idea that language education will in some way empower bilinguals is implicit in the Bilingual Colombia policy through the frequent mention of the ways in which learners, upon becoming bilinguals, will some way be stronger competitors in the job market and more agile as communicators; that is, students will have more “power”, and more access to power and privileged situations because of their linguistic skill set. At the center of the program philosophy in the Department of Languages and Sociocultural Studies at los Andes is a similar idea; through the incorporation of “learner autonomy” in language pedagogy, learners will be empowered to take charge of their own language learning after they exit the institution (Appendix B). Many recognize that students’ agency is of central importance to student empowerment (Cummins, 2010; Dewey, 1916; Ellsworth, 1989; Freire, 1972), and this, taken with what has already been discussed about the PNB, leads one to consider the ways in which students’ agency is acknowledged in curriculum and instruction of the English courses that they take at the Universidad de los Andes. The traditional classroom.

(14) 14  .  . scenario, in which students do not have much voice in curricular decisions, begs the question: to what extent is “student autonomy” explicitly reflected in the EFL curriculum in classes for non-language-majors at los Andes? The curriculum, especially for the course English 6: Autonomy and Orality II (a speaking course for non-majors) is true to the department’s philosophy of content-based foreign language instruction given that course topics come mainly from the area of Linguistics. While the Linguistics content gives students a useful theoretical framework from which they can begin to develop metalinguistic awareness and certainly offers the chance for them to develop communicative competencies, student comments from past courses indicate that the particular content of the course was neither the most motivating, nor the most useful to their immediate needs in using the English language. Most students in English 6 are close to graduation, which means that they will need to defend their theses, or enter the professional world soon after finishing the course. Oftentimes they may be required to execute such activities incorporating English in the process. Thus, many students identified their needs as related to opportunities to talk about topics relevant to their majors and professions (Appendix A-H; also, see section 5.0). That said, at least with respect to content, there seems to be little opportunity for students whose interests or future needs are not focused on Linguistics to utilize language about their “professions”, that is, the language which might be useful for them their respective professional contexts. In other words, learners have very little choice or voice with respect to curriculum content and how their particular needs or interests might be incorporated into it..

(15) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 15  . Benson (2001) and others (Breen, 1987; Breen & Littlejohn, 2000; Dewey, 1897; 1916; Little, 1991) posit that autonomy, or the ability to make choices about what we learn and how we learn it, is fundamental to our learning processes. More specifically, in the process of learning a second language, learner autonomy and interest are key factors that impact both our motivation (Littlejohn, 1996; 1999; Breen, 1987; Dornëyi, 2001, 2005; Gardner & Lambert, 1972) and aspects of language learning and achievement such as vocabulary (Dam & Legenhausen, 1996). These questions of agency and interest also become important when we consider how being more engaged, or feeling more empowered as learners might influence students’ motivation and willingness to participate, these two factors being key predictors of L2 use, and thus growth (Hashimoto, 2002). All of this raises concern about how the asymmetrical power relations present in decision making about language curriculum might negatively impact learners’ motivation, or conversely, how the increased representation of students’ voices in the decision-making processes surrounding language education may, as the aforementioned studies suggest, have an impact. Indeed, in the initial negotiation of the content and activities done with an autonomous approach (Process Syllabus) to EFL in English 6 in 2011 showed that students chose to veer away from the course readings as the basis for topics of input and preferred, for example, multimedia sources as the basis for vocabulary and pragmatic skill development (Appendix A). Thus, the need to reconsider how curricular decisions are made in such a way that contemplates power relationships in the classroom, and particularly, learners’ voice and choice (autonomy) in the process, is evident..

(16) 16  .  . 1.4 Justification of the problem: The need for an autonomous approach In my two years of teaching English 6 at the Universidad de los Andes, I have conducted surveys each semester that asked students to reflect on how different elements of the curriculum, such as the content, activities, and assessment, affected their motivation and language learning experiences. With respect to motivation about learning English, the results of these pilot surveys indicated that students found the units in which they were able to suggest content and approaches to learning the content-related language more motivating. They rated their motivation on a scale of 5, (when 5 was most motivating) as 3.56, 4.0, and 4.56 in the first through third units respectively (Appendices A-C). They identified the reasons for their increased motivation as having to do with the more frequent opportunity to make choices about the aforementioned aspects of the learning experience. Many students commented something similar to what the following student said about the reason for his motivation: “ I liked [the fact] that we could plan our discourse around a theme of our liking and I liked learning new vocabulary about this theme ” 4 (Pilot Survey Post Unit 2, October 24th, 2011). At the moments in the course in which students had a voice and choice about curricular elements, I noted better attendance to class, more thorough out-of class preparation, and more active participation in class activities. Also, I observed in the regular small group discussion activities that when students were given the opportunity to speak in English about topics of their choice or interest, the richness of vocabulary was markedly improved compared with their conversations about the original course content from Linguistics, a finding supported by                                                                                                                 4  Me gustó que hubieramos podido planear un discurso de algún tema que nos gustara y aprender nuevo vocabulario relacionado a dicho tema.  .

(17) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 17  . Dam and Legenhausen’s (1996) aforementioned study. More specifically, the difference in fluency was notable in these discussion activities where students provided the input for conversations versus when the input came from the curricular content from Linguistics; in the average class centered on the Linguistics content, students would converse in small groups for 10 minutes at a time, though in the cases where they talked about topics of their self-described expertise they asked for extra time to finish the conversations. However, although one pillar of the course philosophy is student autonomy (Appendix B), the course content (readings) as well as other aspects of the curriculum such as project descriptions, tasks, and assessments, are predetermined and fixed. That said, the curriculum, as it stands, does not explicitly make space for students to make many choices about their language learning process, nor to incorporate their interests or background knowledge into the content of the course. This curricular reality, taken with the positive perceptions about autonomous approaches from pilot surveys, along with prevalent negative comments about the fact that “the readings [from the course pack] were boring”5 (Pilot Survey Post Unit 1, September 12th, 2011) gave rise to the question for this research. I wondered how the impact of my interpretations of the curriculum, which included more space for learners to make choices about both content and their second language learning experiences, might be measurable in a formal study about the intentional incorporation of learner voice and choice (autonomy) in curricular choices for the course. The formal question that has arisen from this experience with my English 6 EFL classes at los Andes is:.                                                                                                                  .

(18) 18  .  . How might autonomous approaches to language teaching, specifically those that explicitly incorporate learner choice and control in curricular decisions, impact learners’ motivation toward learning English? Given that the literature on the topic states that motivation is one of the best predictors of language learning success (Gardner & Lambert, 1972; Gardner, 1985; Deci & Ryan, 1985), of tangential interest is also how possible changes in motivation based on these approaches may or may not impact students’ language learning. Answering this research question could create discussion both in the Department of Languages and Sociocultural studies at UniAndes, and in the EFL community in Colombia and abroad, about the possible effects of incorporating student voice into curricular choices in autonomous approaches to language teaching. More specifically, answering these questions could give insights for possible revisions of the English 6 curriculum, offer ideas about how to create more meaningful learning experiences for students, help students reach the course objective of improving their oral production, and even empower them in their language learning processes..

(19) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 19  . 2.0 Theoretical framework While the primary impetus for this study came from informal classroom observations of experiments I have done with learner-centered approaches to curriculum and EFL teaching, it also has theoretical roots in critical pedagogy. The theoretical framework for this study will begin with a discussion of what critical pedagogues and others have said about relationships of power and control in the classroom. As we began to see in the introduction, these two concepts are closely related to the importance of learner voice and agency in language teaching. The text will move on to a review of some of the literature about autonomy in the foreign language classroom, where autonomy is conceived of as a both a teaching/learning philosophy, as a kind of behavior, and as a form or resistance to asymmetrical relations of power in language education. Then, the reader will find a summary of some key studies on motivation and language learning, some of which have examined the relationships between motivation and learner autonomy approaches to second language learning. 2.1 Power and control 2.1.1 Macro vs. micro: Power in society vs. power in the classroom This paper began with an overview of national and institutional policies on language education, and particularly, a discussion about how the power relations present in the national discourse about learning English tend to be replicated in the local classroom context. The conversation about how hierarchies of power at the societal level influence the classroom has been a central concern of critical pedagogues since the 1970s. According to Freire (1972) educational systems are “mirrors of oppression” that.

(20) 20  .  . exist because of power imbalances in the macro context. The “oppressors” in society enjoy control of the majority of resources, control of the dominant ideology, and thus have the dominant voice in discourse (Freire 1972). In Freire’s vision, power is a somewhat material entity in that can be distributed or held by the actors in a given situation. We can see this in his descriptions of power relations in the classroom; he says that one powerful member of the classroom community tends to control the discourse (teacher) and the other members (students) respond. Freire called this teacher-centered model “banking education” in which teachers are seen to “deposit” knowledge into students, and the students have no “interest” in their learning process. Students consume knowledge passively by listening. This idea of “banking education” has been referred to as “transmission model” of instruction (Cummins, 2010). These hierarchical relationships of power are often deemed “vertical relationships of power” and show power as something to which some are privy and to which others do not have access. Cummins similarly dichotomizes the idea of power, classifying power relationships in the educational context into two categories: collaborative relationships and coercive relationships. In Cummins’ approximation, coercive relations of power appear to be similar to Freire’s banking education. In coercive relations of power, the teacher talks and students listen; learning is “hands off,” and the relationship between student and teacher does not enable students to challenge existing power structures/oppressors. Consequently, classrooms of this type do not allow students to have a voice in many decisions about their learning process, nor do they recognize how having power or agency in the classroom could change impact their learning, whereas, in.

(21) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 21  . collaborative relationships of power, power is not fixed, tangible entity; it is something that can be negotiated and co-constructed by students and teachers. Rather than a vertical relationship of power, in collaborative relations of power, control is held equally by all actors in a “horizontal” way. Elsa Auerbach (1995) suggests, as Freire does, that “the classroom functions as a kind of microcosm of the broader social order” (as cited in Pennycook, 2001, p. 115). Schools reinforce and reproduce vertical power structures in society not only through patterns of teacher-student interaction and dialogue, but also through decision-making. She claims that, “Pedagogical choices about curriculum development, content, materials, classroom processes, and language use, although appearing to be formed by apolitical professional considerations, are, in fact, inherently ideological in nature, with significant impacts for learners’ socioeconomic roles” (as cited in Pennycook, 2001, p.115). She implies that by recognizing the ideological nature of decisions, and especially how dominant ideologies influence language pedagogy, we should be led to question the kinds of decisions that are often taken to be neutral, such as who chooses content, who sets the criteria for evaluation, and how classroom interactions, such as turn-taking, are determined. Benson complements this idea when he warns that "we are inclined to think of the politics of language teaching in terms of language planning and policy while neglecting the political content of everyday language and language learning practices. In proposing a political orientation for learning autonomy, therefore, we need a considerably expanded notion of the political.

(22) 22  .  . which would embrace issues such as the societal context in which learning takes place, roles and relationships, in the classroom and outside, kinds of learning tasks, and the content of the language that is learned” (as cited in Pennycook, 2001, p.116). While the conception of the classroom as a mirror of society seems to detract from the notion of respect for the autonomy that schools, teachers, and students may enjoy in their local contexts, illuminating congruencies between power relationships in the macro and micro context can help us to understand the real workings of power at the classroom level. Furthermore, in their “problematizing practice” (Freire, 1972) and the critical theorists aforementioned in this section touch on the important issue of student voice in the classroom and how it is often omitted from important decisions. By identifying the ways in which, and the reasons why students’ voices are marginalized in the language classroom--whether this has to do with broader social discourse or not--is an important step toward resisting this reality. 2.1.2 The classroom as a site of resistance: Autonomy as a path to empowerment Many have critiqued these conceptions of power that treat it as a material entity that can be possessed and redistributed, or as having a fixed structure within institutions. Instead, some suggest an understanding of power that treats it as an entity that is negotiated and constantly changing (Cummins, 2010; Foucault, 1982). Freire’s notion of power has also been questioned for it does not recognize that, even in situations of oppression, that the “oppressed” still have agency; in other words, his vision of power in education constructs the students as powerless actors when often times, even in an.

(23) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 23  . asymmetrical relation of power, the less powerful still enjoy some vestige of control over certain aspects of their learning experiences. Additionally, Suresh Canarajah, whose language classroom was situated in the midst of Sri-Lankan internal conflict, contested the notion that classrooms are merely mirrors of society; while what happens outside the classroom can affect the dynamic inside the classroom, (in his case they could literally hear the war happening outside), he argues that classrooms enjoy relative autonomy, that is, they are spaces which are often times governed by their own sets of rules as determined they are negotiated by the actors in the classroom (Pennycook, 2001). Dickenson (1997) suggests that even despite all barriers that might seem to keep the learner from exercising control over his or her learning experience in a similar way to Freire’s depiction of banking education, within institutional environs learner control is an observable and a natural part of the learning process. It is worth considering that learner control (used interchangeably here with agency) is something that cannot be entirely suppressed even by asymmetrical relations of power. If we accept Foucault’s (1982) claim that power is a dynamic entity that is negotiated between actors in social situations, we can also see how circumstances in the classroom might change based on classroom decisions, and that this in turn could affect the balance of power among actors therein. What I suggest here is that autonomy be considered an innate capacity that could be stimulated or activated by certain circumstances or conditions of power (and stifled by others). Adopting this paradigm has significant implications with respect to classroom practices..

(24) 24  .  . 2.2 Autonomy in language learning and teaching In much of the literature, autonomy is treated in a way that specifically relates it to broader questions about power in the classroom. There has been much discussion in the field of second-language teaching that focuses on the idea of the learner as an active agent in her own learning process. Sometimes the idea is referred to as learner-centered or learner-controlled practices, these being the opposite of the teacher-centered or teacher-controlled situations present in the banking education model. However, the word learner-control tends not to be the preferred label in language research. Rather, in much of the discourse about the topic of power and control in language learning the term “autonomy” is used interchangeably, or instead of, learner-controlled or learner-centered. Since this study will draw primarily on the work carried out in second language research, I will follow suit and also use these terms interchangeably, including the use of the term “agency” which is largely present in critical pedagogy but not so common in discussions of autonomy in language education. It is useful  here to look at the evolution of the idea of autonomy in the discourse to give the previous definition rather more depth and dimension. Before the existence of much literature in the field of language learning and teaching, educational philosopher John Dewey (1897; 1916) wrote about how students’ interests and realities were central to meaningful learning. Dewey recognized that the learner enters school as someone who has been learning since birth, and as such, the learner arrives at school with existing experiences and interests (Dewey 1897; 1916). What a student thinks and enjoys is of central importance to learning because this, not a teacher’s decision, shapes his vision of what is relevant to know. As other scholars.

(25) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 25  . maintain, new knowledge is constructed on the foundation of what we already know, or our prior knowledge. This is to say, nothing new is built without a foundation. To Dewey, many schools failed to recognize students’ agency, or their ability to make decisions about their learning experiences. Dewey problematized the educational frameworks in which the student is considered as lacking depth, and thus it is the teacher’s responsibility fill him or her with knowledge (Dewey, 1916). He also criticized pedagogies that were teacher-centered, or ones in which the instructor was the sole decision-maker about learning that happened in the classroom because learning activities should be oriented toward the real world in which the student lives so that they are relevant to his interest and experience; in other words, learning should be learnercentered (Dewey, 1897). In the early 1980s, Holec (1981) was the authority on the topic of autonomy. Holec viewed autonomy as a capacity for critical reflection, decision-making, and independent action. Over time, the definition of autonomy evolved away from the consideration of autonomy as a capacity. Dickenson (1997) conserved the decision– making element of Holec’s definition. She declared that autonomy is, “the situation in which the learner is totally responsible for all the decisions concerned with his learning and the implementation of those decisions” (as cited in Benson, 2001, p. 167. Little (1991) added that autonomy also involves a psychological element, and that psychological element relates to the learners’ attitudes toward the process and content of learning, and thus, motivation. After taking into account what the aforementioned authors say about the idea of autonomy, Benson arrives at a simple definition which is the one I adopt for the purposes.

(26) 26  .  . of this study. He sustains that “Autonomy is fundamentally concerned with the interests of learners rather than the interests of those who require their skills” (Benson, 2001, p. 21). Benson goes one step further than the other authors when he says that in order to develop autonomy, learners need to be liberated from the direction and control of others with respect to both the content and process of their language learning experience in order to stimulate their learning. So, the autonomous approach discussed here is concerned with how learners exercise their autonomy through choice and control. Research states that shifting the locus of control from teachers toward students has benefits for learners (Benson, 2001.) It’s important to mention that when we discuss “shifting the locus of control” that this shift is a moderate one. Learner autonomy does not mean that the teacher absolves herself of all responsibility. Rather, a learner can enjoy a great deal of autonomy, though the teacher might share some element of control over the learning experience. In other words, autonomy permits interdependence and interaction between teacher and learner, or a shared responsibility for learning. Thus, learner autonomy can be increased, albeit within a “collaborative and supportive environment” (Benson, 2001, p.151). 2.2.1 Classroom-based approaches to autonomy Many experiments have been done at the classroom level which have attempted to explore the effects of a horizontal relation of power on language learning. The experiments I will discuss in this section are all based on shifting the locus of control over choices about content, activities, or assessment away from teachers and toward learners in second language learning settings. Though some of the studies described here do not make explicit the connection between learner control and motivation, these.

(27) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 27  . “learner autonomy experiments” and their implications contextualize the pedagogical innovation at the heart of this case study. 2.2.1.1 Experiment in learner-control in Bahrain In Bahrain, Littlejohn (1983) chose to work with two groups of students who were repeating an English course they had previously failed. In their second attempt at the taking the course, Littlejohn introduced elements of learner control into the class to determine its effects on learner achievement. Although students did not determine the course objectives in this study, their approach to learning the objectives was more selfdirected than in the first attempt at the course. Students were asked to research and present on grammar concepts from the text they had used in the previous semester, and to evaluate the difficulty of such concepts. Then, students volunteered to research different areas of the course content, and eventually used the information they found to teach a portion of the each class to their peers. In the end, students were teaching one third of the time. During their teaching time, they made choices about content, activities, and classroom management. They called on the teacher support as needed. Littlejohn came to various conclusions based on the final performance of the experimental group; they showed equal or greater performance than three groups who received teacher-centered instruction. The results of the study also show that, in addition to gains on the language objectives, the students displayed motivated behaviors, which might also have a positive effect on learner performance, such as a more active role in class, elevated participation, and resourcefulness, and a sense of responsibility for their learning..

(28) 28  .  . 2.2.1.2 Vocabulary acquisition in autonomous classrooms in Denmark Dam and Legenhausen (1996) conducted a comparative study which had similar aims to that carried out by Littlejohn. They did a longitudinal study which aimed to compare the language development of 21 learners in a Danish school learning English in an “autonomous style” with learners in English classrooms in Denmark and Germany that were led in a more “traditional” (teacher-centered) way. Here I will only discuss the first phase of the study, which focused on vocabulary acquisition because findings regarding this aspect of language acquisition were most conclusive. Distinct from the Littlejohn study, the course content in the Danish autonomous (DA) classrooms was brought in by the learners. Students sought examples of English from their lives. These linguistic excerpts were shared and displayed. Furthermore, using picture dictionaries, songs and rhymes, and their own curiosities about the language, students devised lists of words they wanted to know or thought might be useful. They used the new vocabulary throughout various learning tasks. Vocabulary in the German and Danish traditional classrooms (GT and DT respectively) came from texts. The authors of the study chose vocabulary because it is a ‘conventional indicator of proficiency’ (Benson, 2001). Researchers made word lists of the new vocabulary and identified the sources. They compared the word lists against an English high frequency word list. They found that in the first four weeks in the DA classrooms the new vocabulary list reached a total of 400 words, compared with 124 introduced through the medium of the textbook used in the DT and GT classes. Eight hundred words were required by the state for one year. The researchers also found that of the 400 items from the DA list 32% of the words coincided.

(29) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 29  . with a 500 high frequency word list, and 62% with a 100 high frequency word list compared with 19% and 30% from the textbook lists. To test the effects of the traditional and autonomous approach to vocabulary teaching, the researchers administered various types of vocabulary tests after the initial stage of the study (at 7.5 weeks) and again at 15 weeks. They began with an informal recall test, which sought to obtain a word list, and a second test that aimed at identifying students’ long-term retention ability to recognize and spell the new vocabulary words. The DA students outperformed the DT and GT students on almost all aspects of the tests. The DA students’ average score on the word recall test was 62 where the average for the control group was 47 words, and the overall class scores of the DA group were also better. On the second test, the DA group demonstrated better auditory recognition whereas the GT and DT group were better at writing and spelling. However, the comparison of these test results were unreliable as the GT and DT group could only be tested on the subset of 400 items introduced through the textbook in the first four weeks. The implications of these results are wide-ranging with respect to autonomy and language learning concerns. Because vocabulary acquisition is a conventional indicator of language learning, the temptation to extrapolate the results of this study relating autonomy and language learning is high. It serves to notice that the focus on only one specific element of language acquisition simplified data comparison, and thus made the results easier to interpret. In their suggestions for further research, Dam and Legenhausen make recommendations for similar studies using a population where the control group and the treatment group are more comparable..

(30) 30  .  . 2.2.2 Problem Based Learning: Another approach to learner autonomy in the language classroom Problem Based Learning (PBL) is by definition a pedagogic experience oriented to help students solve real world problems (Neufeld & Barrows, 1974; Torp & Sage, 1998). Learning activities center around finding solutions to these authentic problems or tasks. In the extant literature on the topic of PBL in language teaching, many parallels are drawn between this approach and task-based teaching in which the process of language learning is oriented toward the completion of some kind of task, whether that task be pedagogic (such as giving a research presentation) or real-world (such as presenting a job interview) in nature (Pica, 2010; Willis, 1996; Nunan, 1989 cited in James, 2006). The first stage of PBL involves identifying a problem. In this stage of instruction, the opportunity for creating different dynamics of power through decision-making presents itself. In some cases, the teacher is responsible for posing the problem, but in some interpretations of this instructional strategy, the teacher merely facilitates the identification and structuring of a problem by students. In the latter description, one can see how giving choice to learners about the problems they deem relevant could easily solve the Deweyan dilemma of designing learning experiences that are authentic and relevant to student interest and experience. In fact, when the students’ choose a problem, it is often based on what students live in the world outside the classroom (Savery & Duffy, 1996; Torp & Sage, 1998); thus, the learner-centered approach to PBL encourages student participation (thus more linguistic interaction) more than the first. In all cases, the primary aim of the first stages of PBL projects is for students to actively take ownership of the problems posed..

(31) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 31  . After a problem is posed to (or by) the students, the rest of the learning process is devoted to allowing students to formulate solutions to this problem. In the second step of the process, students carry out research. Again, this moment in the learning process can be facilitated completely by the teacher, which would involve the teacher providing resources for students to find the information necessary to solve the problem. Or, students can be unleashed in their research process and merely accompanied by the teacher in the exploration of what they do not know, both in terms of content and language in the EFL classroom. This helps students to become exposed to authentic language in context, a key factor for understanding both the meaning of new vocabulary and seeing how it might be used appropriately in context. This process also naturally encourages students to draw on the resources and knowledge base that comes from their worlds, helping to ensure that the content of the learning experience is relevant to the world of the students, and that they are actively engaged in the learning process. Given that their interests and experiences are pluralistic in nature, so too is the content and nature of classroom interaction. This approach encourages the kind of interdisciplinary thinking that is key for language learners who see language as a tool to be used to help them in academic or professional pursuits, as is the case at los Andes (Larsson, 2001). Furthermore, the third stage of the process is oriented toward finding the information, and learning the language relevant to solving their specific problem. During this stage students negotiate the possible solutions to problem with their peers. This meaning-focused, interactional approach which is built into many approaches to PBL has an advantage over other more traditional approaches to language teaching in which target.

(32) 32  .  . language or structures are taught explicitly and learners are responsible for learning these individually; in this situation, the language learned becomes immediately necessary in order to continue the problem solving process through interaction, and thus the “authentic nature” of the language being acquired is more likely to promote motivation and lasting second language acquisition (Mackey, 1999; Nakahama, Tyler & Van Lier, 2001 cited in Mathews-Aydinli, 2007). In the last stage of the process, students evaluate their solutions, again, with peers, which promotes yet another kind of linguistic interaction that is quite critical in nature. Matthews-Aydinli’s (2007) sums up the value of PBL in language teaching in the following manner: “Within the area of second language learning and teaching, problembased learning aligns with approaches in which students learn the target language by using it, rather than being presented with and then practicing predetermined language structures” (p.1). Other advantages of this student-centered, communicative approach are perhaps best highlighted by relating PBL to Swain’s (1993) Output Hypothesis. The Output Hypothesis recognizes that the information students are exposed to (input) in their second language is not the only important factor in language learning. In fact, when students engage in communicative tasks where they must produce language (output) they are forced to negotiate not only meaning, but also attend to grammatical form as they construct utterances. This active task pushes their language learning to a new level, one that they cannot reach when they are merely absorbing input as with teacher-centered approaches..

(33) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 33  . Certain aspects of the Output Hypothesis are relevant to the PBL approach. Aside from moving from a meaning-based processing (semantic) to grammar-based (syntactic processing), oral production feedback forces speakers to negotiate meaning based on listener feedback so they can be understood (Mackey, 2002 as cited in Gass and Selinker, 2008). The importance of feedback becomes clear in the discussion of hypothesis testing, that is when speakers test out an utterance and receive negative feedback they may recast the utterance. This type of occurrence, where the speaker tries to construct language using different utterances, and by so doing learn from those hypothesis that are proven correct and those which are not confirmed. Furthermore, when learners produce language they have the chance to notice aspects of form that might be difficult for them. That is, when they reach blocks in communication, they can identify structures that the lack to make meaning. All of this comes as a result of social interaction. Swain’s Output Hypothesis is especially relevant when we consider the PBL approach as an autonomy-based practice because the way that power relations change in this approach. In teacher-centered approaches the instructor, through explicit instruction, does most of the talking. Students have the opportunity to make sense of the meaning of input, though if the teacher holds the turn in conversation, students do not have as much opportunity to produce language, negotiate meaning, nor cope with grammatical structures. Swain argues that “output” is not merely a way for learners to practice what they have learned, but rather, output is a way of creating knowledge (Swain, 1993). Thus, an approach that gives students more opportunity to talk (create output), would likely benefit their language development. Cummins (2010) comes to this conclusion too saying.

(34) 34  .  . that when relations of power are collaborative, that is, the discourse in the classroom is balanced, that learners have a better chance to grow linguistically. In sum, the way in which PBL values students interests in the choice of problems, creates authentic opportunities for language use through meaning-focused interaction, encourages students to grapple with meaning-construction and grammatical structures through interaction between peers, and essentially diminishes the role of the teacher as the sole decision maker and thus shifts power in some degree to students, makes it an autonomous approach which could both motivate and empower language learners to transfer language skills to real world contexts beyond the classroom (James, 2004). 2.2.3 The Process Syllabus An older, and less explored approach to autonomous language teaching is curriculum-based and is known as the process syllabus, which is essentially a negotiation between teachers and students about all curricular decisions. Within the process syllabus approach, the syllabus is not only the starting point for language learning in terms of content, but it’s a conversation piece in and of itself, and thus a tool for language learning. According to Breen (1987): “The process syllabus focuses upon three processes: communicating, learning, and the purposeful social activity of teaching and learning in the classroom. It is primarily a syllabus which addresses the decisions which have to be made and the working procedures which have to be undertaken for language learning in a group. It assumes the means through which communicating and learning can be achieved” (p. 166)..

(35) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 35  . Breen noted that even in cases where teachers control the curricular choices, learners tend to recreate the syllabus or to develop their own. As such, it is reasonable to propose that the syllabus become a negotiable entity in the language classroom. In the creation of the process syllabus, the learner and teacher roles are distinct from those mentioned in Freire’s banking model of education. In this approach students gain agency as they participate in a cycle of negotiation about some or all of the following: objectives, class content, learning activities, and evaluation. The professor provides a plan of the decisions to be made and a compendium of learning activities in order to facilitate the negotiation of content and activities, though the final decisions are based on consensus of all participants. In this way, students’ interests and experiences, both in terms of language learning and their interests, becomes the basis of their language learning experience. The foundational study done on the topic (Simon & Wheeler, 1995) examines learners’ willingness and ability to take on roles and responsibilities that traditionally belong to the teacher in this learner-controlled model. Through the recording of classroom negotiations called action meetings, learner diaries, and learner reflections about the course, researchers found that, although in the beginning some students were more reluctant participants than others, by the end of the study 100% of students participated in the negotiations willingly, and with a fairly even distribution of participation. In post course surveys and learner diaries, learners gave positive reports about the experience, and even stated that it gave them confidence to use their English in professional situations outside of class. This suggests that the main result of the study pertains not to willingness, but to learner motivation..

(36) 36  .  . Because of its learner-centered nature, the process syllabus is an innovation that adequately redresses problem of demotivating content in English 6 curriculum. While descriptive studies about the process syllabus have been done (Simmons & Wheeler, 1995), few empirical studies have been carried out. Furthermore, although the foundational study on the topic takes Breen’s idea of the process syllabus from theory to practice, there is certainly not an abundance of work that has been done on this topic, and thus there is need for more description of the process syllabus in action in the field of second language teaching (Benson, 2011). This study seeks to make that contribution. The next section explores a topic key to understanding the importance of autonomy in language learning: motivation. 2.3 Motivation in language learning In a general sense, motivation refers to understanding the reasons for which humans do what they do. More concretely, motivation is concerned with the choices behind actions, the persistence in executing those actions, and finally the effort one exerts in performing the action (Dörnyei & Skehan, 2003). In language learning research, motivation is seen as a multi-faceted construct that includes effort, a desire to learn, and the learner’ attitude toward learning the language (Dörnyei & Skehan, 2003). Moreover, motivation involves a goal, a desire to attain the goal, positive attitude toward language learning, and effortful behavior to attain the goal (Gardner, 1985). In the SLA literature, motivation has received significant attention since early research linked it to achievement in SLA; second only to aptitude, motivation was deemed a good predictor of achievement in L2 (Gardner & Lambert, 1972)..

(37) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 37  . 2.3.1 Social-psychological paradigm and Gardner’s theory of motivation The early research on the topic of motivation in SLA originated in Canada and came from a group of researchers whose work was rooted in a social-psychological paradigm, the most prominent and widely cited among these being Gardner (Gardner, 1985; Gardner & Lambert, 1972). Gardner (2008) identified learner’s “language attitudes”, or their feelings and perceptions of the target language, its speakers, and their culture as the most important factor in L2 learning. The theory discusses two constructs, in addition to attitude, which comprise motivation: integrativeness and instrumentality. Integrative orientation is having a positive attitude toward the L2 group and also having the desire to interact with the target language group or culture (Gardner, 1985). This construct is pertinent to language learning situations in which the learner is immersed in the culture where he/she is learning the language. However, the idea of integrativeness, one of three sub-constructs of integrative orientation, has been more widely addressed and is useful in the discussion of language learning motivation. Integrative motive is present in any language learning situation, whether it is immersive in nature or not. It consists of: “(i) integrativeness, subsuming integrative orientation, interest in foreign language, and attitudes toward the L2 community; (ii) attitudes toward the learning situation, comprising attitudes toward the teacher and the course, and (iii) motivation, which according to Gardner is made up of motivational intensity, desire to learn the language, and attitudes toward learning the language” (Dörnyei & Skehan, 2003, p. 613).

(38) 38  .  . Dörnyei (1990) and (Oxford, 1994) have criticized Gardner’s theory of motivation, especially the importance it gives to integrativeness, when considering the fact that in many SLA contexts learners may not have a real or prospective chance to integrate with the people or culture of the target language. Therefore, Dörnyei claims that Gardner’s idea of integrativeness is salient to understanding L2 learner motivation if we adapt the notion so that it is more general; more precisely, the idea of integrativeness is most useful when understood as the way in which students may or may not be motivated by a relation they feel towards the culture or internal cultural values of the target language. In any case, the concept of integrativeness clearly has a social aspect that deals much more with macro, interpersonal interpretations of motivation, and less with more intrinsic or situation-specific concerns. The second construct in Gardner’s framework of language attitude is instrumentality orientation. This refers to perceiving language learning as having pragmatic advantages; for example, as is mentioned in the PNB, one might have more professional opportunities as a result of speaking another language (Gardner & MacIntyre, 1991). The research reported on in this paper takes place in Colombia where students are not in direct contact with the speakers of the target language in their daily lives, though they are immersed in a context where they are exposed to English speaking cultures through media, and most have an acute awareness the instrumentality of learning English. Thus, this second construct is very relevant to exploring how students’ perceptions of different teaching approaches appear useful or not, and consequently, motivating or not..

(39) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 39  . 2.3.2 Cognitive approaches to motivation While Gardner’s original categorization is useful especially when considering how social factors may impact language learning motivation, the work that has been done on motivation since the mid-eighties, including Gardner’s own extensions on the topic, has integrated other more education-centered variables into the literature forming a socioeducational model of SLA (Gardner, 2008). Deci & Ryan (1985) were responsible for a formative cognitive psychological theory known as “self-determination theory” (SDT) which was later applied to the language learning contexts by Noels, Pelletier, Clement and Vallerand (2000). SDT identifies intrinsic interest and extrinsic rewards as crucial to understanding motivation. Intrinsic motivation (IM) is defined as the impulse to perform an activity because it is enjoyable or satisfying. This kind of motivation is based on a person’s “innate needs for competence and self-determination” and it is usually intrinsically motivated learners who are most likely to succeed in acquiring a second language. Deci and Ryan (1985) maintain that when people are free to choose the activities they carry out, they will tend to search for challenging situations which will give them a sense of confidence upon completion. This is related to the idea of learner autonomy in that it considers the possible affective outcomes of learner choice. Noels et. al. describes a tripartite framework in which IM is broken down. They maintain, “Recently, Vallerand and his colleagues (Vallerand, 1997; Vallerand, Blais, Briere, & Pelletier, 1989; Vallerand et al., 1992; 1993) proposed a three-part taxonomy of IM. The first type of IM, IM-Knowledge, is the motivation for doing an activity for the feelings associated with exploring new ideas and developing.

(40) 40  .  . knowledge. A second type, IM-Accomplishment, refers to the sensations related to attempting to master a task or achieve a goal. The third type, IM-Stimulation, relates to motivation based simply on the sensations stimulated by performing the task, such as aesthetic appreciation or fun and excitement. The common basis of these three subtypes is the pleasurable sensations experienced during the selfinitiated and challenging activity” (p. 38). In contrast to IM is EM, or extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is based on the need to “achieve some instrumental end, such as earning a reward or avoiding a punishment” (Noels et. al., 2000, p.39). EM is not the opposite of self-determination, rather, it is considered on a continuum of self-determination, or the extent to which an individual internalized the external factor into his self-concept (Deci & Ryan, 1985; Vallerand, 1997). The three levels have (listed here in increasing order of selfdetermination) also been specified in the framework for understanding EM: external regulation, introjected regulation, and identified regulation (Vallerand, 1997; Vallerand et al., 1992; 1993). “External regulation is defined as those activities that are determined by sources external to the person, such as tangible benefits or costs. If the reason for learning the language is taken away, there is no incentive to continue engagement in the learning process (cf. instrumental orientation, Gardner & MacIntyre, 1991)” (Noels et. al., 2000, p. 39). More embedded in a student’s self-concept is introjected regulation in which motivation is caused by some kind of external pressure that somehow an individual has internalized so he is motivated to do a task or activity. In this case, motivation is not self-determined.

(41) AUTONOMOUS CURRICULUM AND EFL MOTIVATION AND LEARNING  . 41  . because the locus of pressure comes from outside of the individual. With identified regulation, the most self-determined of the three degrees of EM, learners make an effort because they have chosen to do so; for example, students would likely carry out an activity with ease because of its importance for achieving a valued goal though impetus may have come from outside. The factor analysis performed by Noels et. al. using Deci & Ryan’s framework showed that this SDT framework is useful for predicting educational outcomes and for understanding the relationship between motivation and learner autonomy. In general, it seemed that students who are “continuing” L2 learners, that is adult students who were taking language classes not as part of a required program, tended to me more intrinsically motivated, whereas students who were “discontinuing students” that is those who were part of a school program and had not stopped taking classes at any point, tended to be more extrinsically motivated. If we relate this to Gardner’s theory, the discontinuing students were more motivated by “instrumental” factors such as course credits. But the finding in this field that is most relevant here is the positive correlation that the researchers found between low perceptions of freedom of choice and motivation. For intrinsically motivated learners especially, as they perceived the teacher to have more control over aspects of their language learning experiences, they were less motivated. These findings provide empirical support for studies carried out on L2 learner autonomy by Littlewood (1996; 1999) and Dickenson (1995) who have claimed autonomous approaches to language teaching will likely promote motivation and motivated behavior and L2 achievement..

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