Training tutors to promote self-directed learning among university-bound English language students
Palabras clave:Self, Directed Learning, Tutor Training, English as a Second Language, English Language Programs
Instructors who teach in English as Second Language (ESL) programs must balance time allotted to teach academic English with the numerous study skills needed by university-bound English learners. However, for these language learners to close language-learning gaps independently and achieve higher levels of communicative competence, they must assume increasingly greater degrees of autonomy in their own language learning process. Although a high level of self-direction is needed, it is not a characteristic that is common to all students. Through explicit instruction, teachers can scaffold language learners as they implement feasible, concrete actions towards language-learning autonomy. In an ESL program at a southeastern U.S. university, the current qualitative study explored the effects of explicit instruction on self-directed learning (SDL) strategies. Study participants were ESL tutors. After being trained in SDL strategies, these tutors recommended SDL strategies to their tutees in individual tutoring sessions. Findings revealed 4 main categories of SDL assignments recommended by these tutors to their tutees across one semester. Implications from this study suggest that language programs should train teachers and tutors in SDL principles, in the role of SDL in language development, and in strategies for promoting SDL among language learners.
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