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Academic Paper


Title: A triangular approach to motivation in Computer Assisted Autonomous Language Learning (CAALL)
Author: Françoise Raby
Institution: Laboratoire de Linguistique et Didactique des Langues Etrangéres et Maternelles
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Abstract: This study was carried out in a language centre, in French higher education. Teachers and researchers had contrived a pedagogical system labeled guided autonomy which combined class attendance in groups and self-study in the self-study room. This kind of autonomous and technologically enhanced learning system will be referred to as CAALL (Computer Assisted Autonomous Language Learning) in this paper. To investigate and reflect critically on the students’ practices in CAALL, it was decided to carry out an extensive triangular study, cross-checking different data (Raby, 2003, 2005). The data pertained to what students did (physical behaviors while working), and to how they felt about it (verbal behaviors in the form of journals). Six students volunteered to take part in that experience. They were observed six times consecutively while working autonomously. In addition, we analyzed the journals in which they wrote about their feelings in connection with the CAALL system. From the students’ observations, three strategic models emerged (epistemic, procedural and mixed). From the journal analyses, different motivational attitudes appeared, ranging from enthusiastic appraisal to stark rejection. One unexpected result yielded by the triangular approach was the importance of internal factors (the learners’ characteristics) versus external factors (the learners' environment) in the process of appropriation of the new learning system.

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This article appears IN ReCALL Vol. 19, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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