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PAGE

131

ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟ ΑΝΟΙΚΤΟ ΠΑΝΕΠΙΣΤΗΜΙΟ

ΣΧΟΛΗ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΙΣΤΙΚΩΝ ΣΠΟΥΔΩΝ

ΜΕΤΑΠΤΥΧΙΑΚΗ ΕΙΔΙΚΕΥΣΗ ΚΑΘΗΓΗΤΩΝ ΑΓΓΛΙΚΗΣ ΓΛΩΣΣΑΣ

ΜΕΤΑΠΤΥΧΙΑΚΗ ΔΙΠΛΩΜΑΤΙΚΗ ΕΡΓΑΣΙΑ

The Computer-based Self-Access Centre

in the Greek Gymnasium:

A Framework

Mαριάννα Βιβίτσου

ΠΑΤΡΑ

Σεπτέμβριος 2004

Contents

Page

Abstract

7

Περίληψη

9

I. Introduction

1. Educational Issues: General Considerations

11

2. The Need for Transcending the Borders of the Conventional Classroom

13

3. Purpose of the Dissertation

14

4. The Proposed Framework

15

5. The Need for the Establishment of Self-Access Centres

17

6. Definition of Terms

18

7. Assumptions for Teacher Training

20

8. Dissertation Outline

20

II. Literature Review

1. Theoretical Principles Underlying the Proposed Self-access Scheme

22

1.1. The Issue of Autonomy in Language Learning

22

1.1.1. The Need for Innovation in Education

22

1.1.2. The Socio-political Aspect

23

1.1.3. The Technical Aspect

25

1.1.4. The Constructivist View

25

1.2. The Cognitive Aspect of Managing Self-access Learning

27

1.2.1. Learner Awareness

27

1.2.2. Cognition and Metacognition

28

1.3. The Motivational Factor

29

1.4. Mediating between Learners and Materials

31

2. Principles Underlying Computer-based Self-access Learning

33

2.1. Developments in Computer Assisted Language Learning

33

2.2. The Motivational Impact of the Computer

35

2.3. The Exploitation of Computer-based Resources in Self-access

36

2.3.1. The Development of Receptive Skills in Self-access

36

2.3.2. Productive Skills Development

37

2.3.3. Language Awareness and Practice

38

2.3.4. Project-based Work

39

2.3.5. Interaction Skills

39

3. Conclusion

40

III. Computer-based Self-access Learning in the Greek Gymnasium

1. Theoretical Implications in the Particular Context

42

1.1. Autonomy as a Universal Principle

43

1.2. Autonomy in Modern Greek Pedagogy

44

1.3. Principles Underlying the Revised Unified Curriculum

46

1.3.1. General Considerations

46

1.3.2. Implications for Self-access

47

1.3.3. Points to Consider

48

2. Organising Self-access Learning in the Particular Context

49

2.1. Current Trends in Materials Design

49

2.2. State Policy and Self-access

50

2.3. The Content of Computer-based Self-access Learning

51

2.4. Levels of Proficiency

53

IV. Computer-based Self-access Materials

1. Self-access Centre (SAC) Organisational Format

56

1.1 Contextual Implications for Self-access Materials

Development

56

1.2. Factors Determining the Organisational Plan

57

1.3. Greek SAC Users in Context

58

1.3.1. The Application of Innovative Flexible Plans in the Gymnasium

58

1.3.2. Effectiveness of In-curricular Projects

59

1.4. Principles Underlying the Organisation of Self-access Resources

61

1.4.1. Considerations on the development of self-access materials

61

1.4.2. Criteria for the Organization of Resources

62

1.4.3. SAC Materials Categorisation

63

2. Computer-based Self-access Resources

65

2.1. Orientation Resources

65

2.1.1. Introducing Learners to Computer-based Materials

65

2.1.2. Self-access Network System

66

2.1.3. Intranet Site Orientation

67

2.1.3.1. SAC Overall Content

67

2.1.3.2. Suggestions for Orientation

68

2.2. Personal Information Resources

70

2.2.1. Introducing SAC Users to Self-awareness Materials

70

2.2.2. Tools for Self-awareness

70

2.2.3. SAC Users’ Self-assessment

72

3. SAC Learning Resources

72

3.1. Accessing Learning Materials

72

3.1.1. Open Retrieval System

72

3.1.2. Classification coding

73

3.1.3. ‘Pathways’ to Self-access Learning

74

3.2. The Rationale Underlying Learning Materials Design

74

3.2.1. Closed-ended Tasks

74

3.2.1.1. Materials for Reading Practice

74

3.2.1.2. Listening Practice Materials

76

3.2.2. Criteria for Task Design

77

3.2.3. Task-related Assessment

77

3.2.4. Open-ended Tasks

78

3.2.4.1. The Current Situation

78

3.2.4.2. Writing and Speaking Materials

79

3.2.4.3. Exploratory Self-access Learning

80

V. Epilogue

1. Overview of the Proposal

82

2. Further Suggestions for Implementation

83

3. Concluding Remarks

84

References

86

Appendices

Appendix I: CEF specifications and adaptations as applied to the Greek context

95

Appendix II: Orientation Resources

96

Appendix III: SAC Counsellor’s Data

101

Appendix IV: Personal Information Resources

102

Appendix V: Topics and Tasks

110

Appendix VI: Closed-ended Tasks

111

Appendix VII: Task Evaluation and Self-assessment

120

Appendix VIII: Open-ended Tasks

122

Appendix IX: Project Work

130

Appendix X : Learn more about…

131

Appendix XI: Useful Links for Students

132

List of Tables

Table 1 : Levels of Proficiency applying to the Greek

Gymnasium as adapted from the CEF

53

List of Figures

Figure 1 : Sample representation of a Self-Access Centre: ELI

Learning Centre Map

16

Figure 2 : A theoretical model for the proposed self-access scheme

41

Figure 3 : An organizational model for self-access learning

54

Figure 4 : A model for an autonomy-oriented SAC

82

Dedication

To all the victims violently murdered

in the recent massacre in a Russian school

in Beslan

For Awareness

gives birth to Knowledge;

Knowledge brings Culture;

Culture is anti-war potion and

Antidote to brutality

Acknowledgements

I would like to express my sincere thanks to:

Dr A. Taglides; ‘supervisor’ is not comprehensive enough to describe his role in the process of writing this dissertation; I would rather choose ‘δάσκαλος’ that Greek people use to describe or address the educator whose encouragement, support, empathy and guidance free the mind and turn learning into life experience.

My friend, colleague and fellow student Androniki Kouvdou for her invaluable support and proofreading that improved the quality of the dissertation.

Eftychia, Nickie and Dionysis for their patience, compassion and constant encouragement for the completion of the dissertation against all odds.

Abstract

The aim of this dissertation is to propose the establishment of a computer-based self-access centre in the Greek Gymnasium and to provide a detailed framework for its implementation. In the proposed self access centre (SAC) Gymnasium students will have the opportunity to access a multiplicity of electronically catalogued and indexed materials and tasks aiming to enable learners to develop both cognitively and linguistically.

The analysis of organization and of principles underlying existing SACs, as described in the relevant literature, reveals that there can be drawn two major distinctions: between centres that are computer-based and those that are conventional or ‘paper-based’. Another important distinction concerns the age groups that existing SACs are aimed for. The former are mainly designed for adult learners and university students and the latter for adolescent learners. Nevertheless, the fact that more or less traditional media of application are used does not exclude the existence of a unifying principle on which the aforementioned schemes are constructed. Indeed, a learner-centred approach is fostered in SACs and the overall goal is explicitly articulated as being increased learner awareness, leading to greater autonomy in language learning.

As the proposed SAC adopts similar principles, this dissertation reviews the relevant literature, identifies the elements in existing systems that promote learner-centredness and autonomy in learning, adapts and enriches them in order to provide a complete, flexible and applicable organisational and methodological framework.

The proposal constitutes an innovation for the particular educational context and, therefore, an analysis of the specifications of the ‘Revised Unified Greek Curriculum 2003’ (FEK 303), issued by the Ministry of Education, is critical so as to provide evidence of the compatibility of aims, methods and means. The analysis also aims to provide evidence to the reader that