Alexandria Digital Research Library

Exploring the Relationship between L2 Blogging, Learner Autonomy, and L2 Proficiency Levels: A Case Study of Post-Secondary Japanese L2 Learners

Hashimoto, Kumi
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. Education
Degree Supervisor:
Jin Sook Lee
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
Issued Date:
Education, Foreign Language and Education, Technology of.
Computer-mediated communication
Second language education
Learner autonomy
Dissertations, Academic and Online resources
Ph.D.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2012

Second language (L2) classrooms commonly consist of diverse learners with different L2 proficiency levels. This heterogeneity of levels has given L2 instructors pedagogical challenges in addressing their students' needs. One of the most promising practical approaches for alleviating this type of teachers' burden is to cultivate learner autonomy---the practice of taking control of one's learning (Benson, 2001)---through computer-assisted language learning materials, such as blogs. This study, conducted in a post-secondary intermediate Japanese L2 course, investigates the relationship(s) between L2 blogging, learner autonomy, and L2 proficiency levels. Drawing on the theoretical perspective that learner autonomy, which signifies self-management, is developed through using metacognitive strategies and metacognitive knowledge (Hauck, 2005), I explore how two more and two less proficient learners self-managed their L2 learning and use in the blogging process by employing metacognitive strategies and metacognitive knowledge.

The qualitative analyses of data collected through think-aloud protocols, portfolios, post-interviews, and blog discourse observations demonstrate that L2 blogging supports the development of learner autonomy in a way that allows learners to individualize L2 learning. All of the learners set their personal learning goals to study specific types of content through blogging, focused their attention on the practice during the processes, and characterized their blog entries/comments as learning products. Simultaneously, however, L2 proficiency levels determined the subjects' individualized learning methods and the degree of their self-management of L2 use. The more proficient learners benefited more from interdependence for promoting learner autonomy (Little, 1994) in the blogosphere: they developed learner autonomy while experiencing authentic online social interaction with and relying on feedback from more capable language users. In contrast, the less proficient learners took less advantage of blog communication in individualizing their learning and had challenges in self-managing L2 use.

These findings provide a broader theoretical basis for learner autonomy developed in learning processes with blogs in terms of individualized learning and teacher expectations. They also enhance teachers' understanding of how to incorporate blogs in L2 classrooms. It is critical that instructors consider the promotion of metacognitive knowledge and pedagogical interventions, especially for less proficient learners.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (175 pages)
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
Catalog System Number:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Kumi Hashimoto
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