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The growing popularity of learning English as a foreign language generates a substantial degree of sociocultural pressure for adults to learn or improve their language skills. However, there are ...
The growing popularity of learning English as a foreign language generates a substantial degree of sociocultural pressure for adults to learn or improve their language skills. However, there are indications that many EFL learners do not seem to either have appropriate beliefs, attitudes, anxieties, and motivations or make a good use of proper language learning strategies. EFL teachers in general and Colombian EFL teachers in particular should address these issues by engaging in critical reflections to provide their students with appropriate activities to face up to the emotional difficulties of social interaction and language learning, but more importantly, to open their own work to inspection and to construct valid accounts of their educational practices. Action research (AR) and reflective teacher-learning on socioaffective language learning strategies appear to be powerful means for developing both teacher autonomy and learner autonomy. Teacher autonomy is developed because new methodological and pedagogical opportunities are opened up for teachers to develop an appropriate expertise of their own. Learner autonomy is also developed because students can become aware of and identify their strategies, needs and goals as learners in order to reconsider and refashion approaches and procedures for optimal language learning. A particular action research study examined these issues by focusing explicitly on affective factors and socioaffective language learning strategies among learners in a monolingual EFL classroom at the Centro Colombo Americano in Bogota, Colombia. The results of the study suggested that explicit strategy instruction in socioaffective language learning strategies is helpful in heightening learner awareness of the importance of paying attention to their own feelings and social relationships as part of their learning process. The results also showed that when teachers reflect on their practical pedagogical know-how, it becomes rich personal pedagogical knowledge.
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