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Volume 17 Number 4, Winter 2020, Pages 1158-1546 PDF Download

Learner Autonomy in EFL Reading with Digital Technology at Secondary School Level

    Heewon Choi & Chung Hyun Lee

Screenagers today may not have any difficulties in using digital technology for everyday social and entertainment purposes, but the extent to which they can make effective use of it for their own learning has not yet been fully explored. The purpose of the study is to investigate secondary school students' autonomous learning and perspectives on the use of digital technology in EFL reading. With a total of 275 middle school students in Gyeongsang-do area of South Korea, the research was carried out in a mixed method. The data was collected through a survey questionnaire, supplemented by interviews. The results identified 60.4% of participants as autonomous learners in reading with digital technology. The level of learner autonomy was also positive for the five categories. The students' perspectives are slightly positive (52.2%) towards the use of digital technology in autonomous reading. While recognizing its usefulness, they were neither interested nor motivated in the use of digital technology in autonomous reading. Grade three responded most negatively in terms of their perspectives on the use of it. It is suggested that teachers should promote the students' enjoyable reading by exposing it to various useful resources and monitoring their progress.

Keywords: learner autonomy, EFL reading, autonomous reading, digital technology