2018 Program

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of self-directed language learning programs. Successful implementation of such self-directed programs should be based on an accurate assessment of students’ attitudes and motivation toward their target languages and their metacognitive knowledge for independent language learning tasks. As the first step toward this goal at a regional university, the current study set out to diagnose students’ motivation and attitudes toward a particular language they choose, personal needs and objectives, learning styles and metacognition. The participants, selected from honors college programs, study abroad programs, language classes, and international student clubs, were given a survey to measure meta-awareness of language learning strategies and to assess desire to study or continue studying world languages.  It was hypothesized that these students would be highly motivated to learn languages due to curriculum and social exposures but would lack the metacognitive knowledge to adequately address challenges that autonomous learners encounter.  The preliminary results of this study indicated that participants are intrinsically and extrinsically motivated to pursue a self-directed language study of a world language. Often times, their choice of language was tied to their personal heritage or identity. Students also showed some level of metacognitive knowledge about use of effective language learning strategies, indicating a level of preparedness for self-directed programs. Some pedagogical and theoretical implications are discussed with respect to the findings of the study.