Investigating Iraqi EFL College Students' Self-Directed Learning in English"

Abstract

Self-directed learning (SDL), is an essential concept in learning, and, in a more extensive sense, student-centered learning. Considering the sophisticated nature of SDL, it has been underestimated and given a superficial meaning, i.e. self-study. With specific end goal to build up a deeper understanding and make utilization of the potential in SDL, this study discusses and puts forward a more significant meaning. The current study is an attempt to investigate Iraqi EFL college student's self-directed learning in English, thus the study aims at:1-Investigating Iraqi EFL college students' self-directed learning in English, 2-Finding out the differences among the aspects of self-directed learning. Two hypotheses have been tested as follows:1-Iraqi EFL college students are not able to use self-directed learning abilities in learning English.2-There are no statistically significant differences among the aspects of self- directed learning. The random sample of the current study consists of 132 students from the four academic stages of the English Department at College of Education for Humanities / University of Diyala, for the academic year (2015-2016).Four aspects of self-directed learning, namely ; General beliefs / Attitudes , planning , practice and social communication aspects are concerned. In order to achieve the aims of this study and to assess its hypotheses , a questionnaire has been constructed for data gathering .The questionnaire covers eight scales that contain (39) items .The following four domains are : General beliefs / Attitudes (4) items , planning (18) items , practice (11) items and social communication (6) items. The questionnaire is exposed to a jury of experts for the purpose of ascertaining its validity. Two methods are applied to calculate the questionnaire reliability coefficient.The results of the study have revealed that :1- EFL college students are able to use self-directed learning abilities in learning English .2-Based on four aspects in the questionnaire , students share the same opinions which is the aspect "General beliefs / attitudes aspect " is received the first interest according to others, while " social communication aspect " is received the lowest one .''General beliefs/attitude aspect'' is received (W.M. = 3.76 , W.P.=75.35%). While " social communication aspect ", is received (W.M.= 2.87 ,W.P.= 57.46%)3- In the light of the students' responses, the results of the study showed that the majority of students have deficiency in social communication with the learning environment either in the formal learning like the educational institution or informal learning as self-directed learning. Finally, In the light of the outcomes obtained, various suggestions are put forward which are concerned with textbooks designers, educators, and learners