Female Arab EFL Students Learning Autonomously Beyond the Language Classroom
English Language Teaching
Benson's (2011a; 2011b) identification of out-of-class learning as constituted by contexts, resources, levels of formality and more and less intentional pedagogic outcomes was used as a framework to investigate a group of tertiary level female Emirati EFL students' autonomous out-of-class learning experiences. Data collected via a survey, learner journals and semi-structured interviews indicated that out-of-class use of English and out-of-class language learning played a significant role in the
... lives of students beyond the classroom. These students utilised naturally occurring material resources, in particular movies, television, the Internet and digital and print texts, with varying levels of pedagogic intentionality, in the privacy of homes and perceived such resources as conducive to facilitating language learning. Students created and utilised self-directed naturalistic learning opportunities more than self-instruction and naturalistic learning. The study found that exercising choice and being intrinsically motivated were integral to autonomous out-of-class learning. Discursive resources were influential in enabling or constraining recognition and utilisation of social resources in creating learning opportunities. The paper ends by giving recommendations to educators for creating effective support for autonomous out-of-class language learning.