Autonomous learning is a new kind of learning mode in China. Under the condition of collage students’ English learning reform, autonomous learning is the ability that be managed by English learners in the student-centered classes. At the same time it is the idea of the learners making control of their own learning. In recent years, the new reform of English teaching takes place over wide our country, the multi-media teaching technology has been widely applied and broadcasted in the English teaching area, which makes the English teaching go to a multiple, flexible and independent way. Therefore, under the multimedia teaching mode, the cultivation of college students’ autonomous English learning capability is quite important.
Key words: multimedia teaching, college English, autonomous English learning.
In the last twenty years, with the continuous development of the foreign languages’ teaching and researching, the student-centered teaching mode has gradually replaced the traditional teaching mode in our country. The focus of classes has transformed from the teachers’ teaching to students’ learning. Therefore, the idea of autonomous learning has attracted more and more attention from the scholars abroad and at home. And it has become an important researching topic in the foreign language teaching. This paper briefly introduces the definition of autonomous learning, and from the perspective of both students and teachers, declares the problem of how to cultivate the autonomous English learning ability of foreign language learners.
The Introduction of Autonomous English learning
Autonomous learning is a learning style that is relatively independent of main learning style, it refers that the learners can make a control of their own learning. Autonomous learning has three characteristics: Firstly, it emphasizes the application of self adjustment strategies in the aspects of metacognition, motivation and behaviour; Secondly, it stresses that autonomous learning is a feedback activity and circular process that be characterized by self orientation; Thirdly, it makes clear that the autonomous learning learners have the acknowledgement of when and how to use a certain kind of learning strategy, and make proper reflection. As a kind of curriculum goal, autonomous learning makes a good foundation for the learners’ lifelong learning and development.
The autonomous English learning is the practical application of self-learning theory in College English teaching. With the development of modern educational technology and the need of lifelong learning, the autonomous English learning has gradually become an important way of learning. Therefore, it is the fundamental basis and premise to understand the students’ ability of using the multimedia technology in their autonomous learning. Only by having a good acknowledgement of students’ autonomous learning ability, can the teachers carry out the teaching activities, and help college students manage more effectively autonomous English learning ability.
Present Situation of College Students’ Autonomous English learning
Compared with the traditional teaching method, multimedia teaching technology provides a large number of English audio-visual information，the English teaching content is more wide and various. In the audio classroom, the students can choose the English content according to their own time, needs, learning progress, learning objectives and English level, which can greatly meet students’ needs for personalized learning. However, with the continuous expansion of the college enrolment in recent years, various problems have presented to the colleges. For example, the rapid growth of the number of college students, the insufficient number of collage teachers, teaching classrooms is getting bigger, these all have become increasingly prominent problems that hinder the development of collage English teaching. Specifically speaking, the present situation of College students’ autonomous English learning is concluded in the following aspects:
Students Lack Interest and Enthusiasm in English Learning
Many students keep the attitude that learning English is of no use, which leads to their reluctance in learning English or their simple purpose for just passing the examinations. For English majors, although most of them are equipped with better facilities for English learning, they lack good motivations of English learning. And many of them think that English learning result will do not have much influence on them, because they may be not engaged in the work that is related to English after graduation. All these factors above lead to the students treating the English classes passively or being absent from classes.
Teachers’ Teaching can not Adapt to The Individual Differences of The Students
With the expansion of college enrolment, more and more students are getting into colleges. The number of students in English classes is increasing from the previous 30/40 to 50/ 60, even more than 200 in some colleges. For English teachers, it is impossible to develop a proper teaching strategy and method which can take into account of each student’s need in a short span of 45 minutes.
The Absence of Participation in English Classes
Although the reform of College English teaching has taken place widely, and the teachers have also made many requirements for the students before class, such as previewing the test which will do help to spare the explanation of the text word by word, the College English teaching classes are still controlled by teachers with the students just listening to the teacher. The communication of the students and teacher about the learning content is quite limited, especially for the classes with more students.
Lack of Corresponding English Learning Strategy
For the traditional teaching method, students can only be instilled knowledge passively and find out proper learning methods with the help of their own feelings. All these above show that there are difficulties for college students in learning English by themselves at this stage.
The Cultivation of Students’ Autonomous English learning ability
To cultivate the learners’ autonomous English learning ability, on the one hand, the colleges should provide proper environment and learning resources to support the students to go on the autonomous learning. On the other hand, the learners should also try hard to manage this kind of learning skill.
Make Study Plans and Make a Proper Use of Learning Resources
Students should make learning plans and develop learning objectives according to their own professional characteristics, such as the development of the timetable, and the goal of different learning stages. At the same time, students should make use of the learning resources provided by the colleges. For example, in order to improve their ability of listening, speaking and reading, the students should carry out autonomous English learning by making use of the school library, the audio classroom and the English corner.
Adopt Appropriate Learning Strategy
Learning strategy is the learning plan that be made by the learners according to their own situation and their learning task. In reality, this strategy proposes an implementation program of learning (what time, what method, what level). In the process of the learners carrying out the learning task, they should also make an investigation of whether they can achieve the goal by this relevant strategy. Then, the learners can adjust their strategies timely in order to get to the target, which ultimately helps the learners achieve the purpose of efficient autonomous learning.
Make a Reasonable Use of Other Resources and Learning Methods
In English learning, students need to make notes, make commentary, draw lines, note stress, make browse and search, and so on. Here, these useful recourses include seeking the help of teachers and partners, the application of partners / group learning, and the access of individual guidance, etc.
Check and Monitor the Knowledge that has been Learned
The learner can ask themselves questions about what they have learned (such as reading materials, etc.). They can also make outline of the materials that have been read, and compare the outline with the original text. In this way, the students can achieve the ability of reviewing their learning results.
Be Equipped With Positive Learning Attitude
The students should view the mistakes in learning as a way to gain improvement. Only by finding reasons from the failures and summing up experiences, can the students get further development. In addition, they should enjoy the process of learning, rather than paying much attention to the external feedback of learning, such as the scores of the exam.
Ways of Teacher to Cultivate Students’ Independent English Ability under the Multimedia Teaching
Change the Traditional Teaching Concept
Teacher should change the “Teacher-centered” classes into “student-centered” classes. That is to say, teacher should be engaged in the class as class organizers, learning guides and activity facilitators. And they should make teaching plans and methods according to students’ conditions, in order to let the students fully present their learning potential and skills. In the whole teaching process, there is supposed to be an interactive activity between the teacher’s teaching and student’s learning, which in return does help to their relationship. It should be clear that the teacher’s responsibility is not teaching knowledge, but helping students know how to learn. What’s more, in all these teaching activities, the teachers should use the target language, that is, English.
Analyze students’ current English level and make suitable learning table
After letting the students know the importance of autonomous English learning, the teacher should communicate with the students in order to help them make a suitable learning table for the present learning objectives, and then guide them to develop a corresponding learning plan.
Organize Student Learning Groups
In order to make the students learn how to cooperate with each other and stimulate their learning interests, making learning groups of students is necessary. The teachers can divide students into different groups according to their different English level and characteristics, personality, gender, etc. The students in the group can communicate with each other in class and after class, which will do a great help in their managing the autonomous English learning ability.
Carry Out Effective Autonomous learning Guided
Teacher should help students select the suitable textbooks or the English auxiliary materials according to their own English levels, let English teaching truly play the role of “teach the truth and studies, explain the difficult problem”, and aim at students’ different learning situations to gives reasonable suggestions. They also can encourage students to record their own learning process, and learn to reflect, such as grasping useful vocabulary or phrases, learning what grammar, understanding the next step, etc.
Develop Variety of Extra-curricular Activities
Along with the development of information technology, the curriculum teaching resources are more abundant, and college has broken the traditional teaching framework of the course, which is based on the “classroom, teachers and teaching materials”. On the other hand, college encourages students to develop rich extracurricular English learning activities, such as English poetry、Prose reading、English sketch、Drama、Singing contest、Reading report and Research study project, ect. All of these activities require teachers to make a plan to cultivate students’ interest in learning English with clearer targets, and provide the students with proper guidance in study methods and strategies of autonomous English learning.
Under the multimedia teaching mode, to cultivate students' autonomous learning ability of English is of essential significance and great meaning. It not only requires students monitor and regulate their own learning ability, but also need teachers’ reasonable guidance. Only by strengthening the combination of two ways, can students obtain the ability from “learning” to “how to learning”, then form a lifelong learning concept, and finally become the high quality personnel in real sense who cater the development of the times.
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