The Role Of The Book Reporting Education Essay


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To become an autonomous learner mean to have the ability of making decisions for one's own learning so learners must have responsibilities in their learning process and they must active in this process instead of being passive. The aim of this study is to determine the role of book reporting on learner autonomy. Different kinds of studies were carried out on learner autonomy but the role of book reporting on the learner autonomy is a new study. The participants are 30 randomly selected students studying English as second language and volunteers from a beginner level and they are studying on engineering departments in a state university. Their age range is between 29 and 21 years old. These students were divided into two groups as control group and experimental group, pre-test was given both two groups and the data were kept. The experimental group students read five books for ten weeks, they presented the book in front of the class and a post-test was given both groups after ten weeks. The results showed that the book reporting has an important role on learner autonomy.

Key words: Learner autonomy, book reporting, ELT, Turkish university students.

1. Introduction

Reading has an important place for learning a foreign language especially in some countries like Turkey because it is far away from English native-speaking countries and there aren't opportunities to practice the language. For learners to compensate this they need to read books, newspaper, articles because reading is a good way to get enough input. They can learn new vocabularies, phrases, structures, and grammar rules by means of reading. Learners also broaden their ability of understanding and improve their ability of speaking. Especially learners in Turkey don't like reading and they aren't good at speaking as a result. One the most important aims of this study to improve the learners' reading and speaking ability.

They are also making a presentation after reading and they are taking notes during reading to make a presentation. They improve their confidence or autonomy by this way.

1.2. Research Question

How does book reporting foster learner's autonomy?

1.3. Research Hypothesis

There isn't a relationship between book presentation and learner autonomy.

1.4. The Purpose of the Study

The present study was designed to look for the role of the book reporting on learner autonomy and its result. Different kinds of studies were carried out on learner autonomy; but there isn't enough study for the role of book reporting on the learner autonomy and this study will be a new one in this area. If book reporting is an important instructional variable, the autonomy of learners will increase because they will make a presentation to the class after reading. Another aim of this present study is to make contributions to the studies done on learner autonomy before.

2. Literature Review

Foreign Language Teaching is in a shift through years as a result of new approaches, methods and techniques to find ways to carry out the best learning in English Language Teaching (ELT). Communicative language teaching and learner-centeredness teaching is getting popular instead of teacher-centeredness in English Language Teaching. In teacher-centeredness teacher was in the center of the teachings, he was dominant, and the only source in teaching process. Students were note takers and good listeners of the teacher and lesson. However, the role of the students and teachers have changed dramatically as a result of communicative language teaching and learner-centeredness in language teaching.

Students are in the center of learning instead of teachers, they are responsible for learning and teachers have different responsibilities such as being advisor, facilitator, and guide in learning.

The new term "autonomy" emerged as a result of these approaches, methods and techniques in ELT. Autonomy is not a surprising result because students are the center of learning and the teachers lost their dominance so students need some requirements to carry out this responsibility. The autonomy is an indispensible instrument for them.

There are different kinds of definition for this indispensible instrument. Holec published a report for the Council of Europe, first published in 1979, to discuss the responsibilities and the role of learners in the educational system. According to Holec (1981:3), autonomy is the ability of taking one's own responsibility in learning. He also clarifies ability and responsibilities under the five sub titles which are important for the implementation of autonomy. They are; deciding the objectives, draw the borders of contents and progressions, deciding the methods and techniques for this learning, showing the process of acquisition, and testing what acquired or learned. Henri Holec (1981:3) also defines autonomous learner as the person who has the ability of taking all the decisions related to his or her own learning process.

While looking for definitions of "autonomy" we can find similar or different definitions in addition to Holec's. Dickinson is one of them who gives a similar definition for "autonomy". He (1987:11) mentions that "this term describes the situation in which the learner is totally responsible for all of the decisions concerned with his learning and the implementation of those decisions. He also adds that teacher and institution have no place for an independent autonomy.

From the field of ELT, another significant comes from Little also has a similar definition like Henri Holec and Dickinson.

He (1991:4-5) defines autonomy as "a capacity- for detachment, critical reflection, decision-making, and independent action and points out that the concept of autonomy implies that the learner enjoys a high degree of freedom. "

Pemberton (1996: 3) treats it as "the techniques in order to direct one's own learning". Dam (1995:45) specifies that "a learner qualifies as an autonomous learner when s\he independently chooses aims and purposes and sets goals; chooses materials, methods and tasks; exercises choice and purpose in organizing and carrying out the chosen tasks; and chooses criteria for evaluation."

Littlewood (1999) proposed two kinds of category in language learning; proactive and reactive autonomy apart from others. Proactive autonomy can be defined as when learner completely joins the learning process such as determining the objectives, choosing methods, techniques, and making evaluation. Reactive autonomy can be defined as giving learners the opportunity learners to decide their sources autonomously to get their goals.

Teacher autonomy is also another kind of autonomy which is neglected but it has also very important in learning process. Because teachers have an important role on the learner autonomy in English Language Teaching classrooms. Teacher autonomy can be defined improve one's own teaching through his or her own efforts (Lamb & Reinders, 2008). McGrath (2000) identifies teacher autonomy with two definitions, the first one is self-directed professional action or development and the second one is being not under the control by someone else. These two definitions look different but each one is a necessity for the other one. According to Richard Smith (2000: 89), teacher autonomy refers to "the ability to develop appropriate skills, knowledge and attitudes for oneself as a teacher, in cooperation with others."

After defining the learner autonomy and teacher autonomy, discussing the role of autonomy in English Language Teaching will beneficial. Importance of autonomy will be illustrated with a Chinese proverb such as:

"Give a man a fish and he eats for a day.

Teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime."

This Chinese proverb shows that in modern educational system learners should be more active, they should control the learning process and they should take responsibilities of their own learning. Autonomous learners have the skill to decide everything they need in learning process, and they can participate in management process and they have the chance of choosing exercises and resources in this process (Nunan, 2000). Littlewood (1999) assumed that each student might become independent learner or autonomous learner and there wouldn't be big differences between them.

Autonomy has been very important in English Language Teaching as a result of innovations especially over the last 30 years in communicative language teaching and learner-centered approaches as mentioned before. Because the learner is in the center of learning, autonomy has become indispensible instrument for the learner of language. Learners are the ones who are responsible for their own learning (Holec, 1981). So autonomy was applied to the learning process to control and help learners for responsibilities of their own learning. It has become an important area which is necessary to study autonomy in ELT.

There have been several conducted studies on Learner Autonomy and Prompting Autonomy in Reading Classroom. These studies were made in Turkish context and EFL Context. Studies conducted in Turkish Context are; "An Evaluation of German Student Teachers Within the Context of Learner Autonomy" (Uslu, 2012), "The Contribution of the European Language Portfolio to Autonomy in Reading Skills" (Göksu&Genç, 2010), "Autonomous Language Learning: Turkish tertiary students' behaviors"(Tok, 2010), "Promoting Learner Autonomy through Activities at Gazi University Preparatory School" (Balçıkanlı, 2006), "Learner Autonomy and Language Learning Portfolios: A Study on the Development of Reading and Vocabulary" (Ä°ÅŸler, 2005). Studies conducted in EFL Context are; "Portfolio Assessment: A Tool for Self-directed Learning at Post-secondary Level" (Mahdavinia& Ahmadi, 2010), "Egyptian Students' Readiness for Autonomous Language Learning"(Hozeyn, 2010), "Prompting Learner Autonomy in a Reading Classroom" (Matsubara&Lehtinen, 2007).

Uslu, (2012) conducted a study on learner autonomy in German Language Teaching Department, in Education Faculty at Dicle University. With the aim of this study was to evaluating the German student teachers within the context of learner autonomy, 150 students participated in his study and these students were chosen randomly. It was a descriptive survey model and he applied a Likert-type questionnaire including 23 items to collect students' opinions clearer, more concrete and statistically. In addition to the questionnaire, he interviewed students to collect date for his study. According to the results of the study, the students learn better in teacher-based classrooms. They don't have enough experiences and knowledge on the student-based activities such as group work and research papers. They don't follow a planned schedule to study, they don't study regularly every day, and they only study hard when they have examinations. It was found that individual studying was common among these students.

Another study was conducted by Göksu&Genç, (2010) on the learner autonomy in Turkish High School learners of English. The results were positive Uslu's study. The Participants were twenty students selected on the basis of their responses to a questionnaire based on to the items in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). The participants were 20 students aged between 13 and 15 in the 9th grade a private high school in Erzurum. They were selected on the basis of their responses to a questionnaire consisting of the A2, B1 and B2 items in the CEFR which was administered to a large group (45) of similar students. The group consisted of male and female students as gender was not considered a variable. During the period of the study the participants learnt English as a foreign language to which the ELP was applied for the first time.

Questionnaire and self-assessment checklists were used in his study to collect quantitative data; and interviews and students' portfolios to collect qualitative data. According to results of this study, both the qualitative and quantitative results of the study indicate that the ELP makes an important contribution to autonomy in reading skills. The majority of the students felt positive towards the ELP and, under its influence, studied autonomously in reading. Most of the students realized that they read in English on their own, evaluated themselves and developed their reading skills themselves.

Some students who had not previously enjoyed reading books or learning foreign languages had their views changed by the ELP which made them feel more positive about learning a foreign language and more courageous in reading.

Another study was conducted by Tok, (2010) in an English preparatory programme at Zirve University in Turkey to search for autonomous English language learning activities among the students in an English preparatory programme. The study searched whether activities show differences according to motivation level, proficiency level or gender of the students. The data were collected through the Learner Autonomy Questionnaire originally developed by Chan, Spratt and Humphreys (2002). The questionnaire was completed by 218 students and 30 teachers. The results revealed that, the majority of participants engaged in autonomous learning activities inside and outside the classroom; there is no significant difference between the autonomous learning activities of men and women; however, women engaged in more autonomous activities than men; students with high proficiency in English engaged much more in autonomous learning activities; students who were motivated and highly motivated participated frequently in autonomous learning activities.

Balçıkanlı, (2006) conducted another important study which has positive results for autonomy, the aim of this study is to promote learner autonomy through the activities to be exploited at Gazi University, Preparatory School. Two classes, the former of which was the experimental group and the latter of which was the control group, were appointed randomly. Learner Autonomy Questionnaire, consisting of three parts a background questionnaire, LAQ 1 and LAQ 2, was administered to the learners in both groups so as to reveal how much autonomy each group possessed. According to results of this study, the learners in the experimental group scored higher than those in the control group, and showed more autonomy than the control group with a few exceptions. Moreover, the results from the experimental group were compared with those from the control group item by item.

Ä°ÅŸler, (2005) also conducted an important study. It was a experimental research, pre and post test which were both the same and had 38 questions were used, and the purpose of the study was to introduce the concept of learner autonomy, an autonomous application, portfolio in ELT, and to investigate the efficiency of portfolio on Turkish 11th grade EFL learners' intensive reading skills and vocabulary development. 94 English Foreign Language Learners in 11th grade in a high school were chosen for this study, and they were divided into two groups as portfolio and control group and two tests were given before and after process. According to results of this study, an important differences were observed in two groups. Portfolio group performed better than control group in post-test despite the fact that both group had the same success in pre-test. To sum up portfolio group or experimental group was trained with portfolio and it had an important effect on the intensive reading skills and vocabulary development of EFL students. Portfolio group was an autonomous group and it was possible to see autonomy in this study.

Mahdavinia& Ahmadi, (2010) conducted a study which had similar results with the former study in Portfolio Assessment. Thirty-four female students majoring in Graphics and attending a course of General English participated in this research. This triangulated qualitative study was based on the learners' reflective essays, group and individual interviews, and colleague observation. Results confirmed that using a self-directed rather than traditional system and catering for stress free assessment and self-assessment with portfolios improves EAP learners' language learning.

Hozeyn, (2010) conducted another study on Learner Autonomy. The participants were freshmen students enrolled in the College of Engineering in the Academy on their first day of the academic year of 2008/2009, prior to any college teaching. Participants were 69% males and 31% females. Ages ranged from 16 to 20 with about 75% aged between 17 and 18. The majority of participants were Egyptians (92%) and the remainder Arabs. The mother tongue of all participants was Arabic. A questionnaire was distributed to the participants on their first day of classes. The questionnaire was an adaptation of Youssef's (2006) questionnaire from her recent study on the Arab Academy's Business students' beliefs about language learning in a web-based setting which, itself, was an adaptation of Cotterall's questionnaire (1999) on learners' beliefs about key factors in successful language learning that might reflect learners' autonomy. As a result this study was not comprehensive, and therefore, cannot yield generalizations about ESP learners in other teaching/learning contexts or in other disciplines and cultures. Further research is highly recommended on learners with different mother tongues, from different disciplines, with different socio-economic and educational backgrounds as well as different cultural contexts.

Matsubara&Lehtinen, (2007) conducted an important another study, "Prompting Learner Autonomy in a Reading Classroom". They used a opinion questionnaire in their study to prompt the autonomy in a reading class but it wasn't mentioned about the number of the students. According to results of this study, autonomy could gradually developed in students when they are provided with proper guidance to control and take the responsibilities of their own learning. They believed that autonomy couldn't appear in one night for students coming from a teacher-centered background. Some steps were necessary for autonomy. They also believed that prompting the autonomy could be achieved in a series of stages seen in the basic reading course.

The role of extensive reading has also an important role for fostering learner autonomy. There are different definitions for it. Extensive Reading can be defined as "reading in great amounts for the purpose of a general understanding of the text or the enjoyment of the reading experience" (Rodrigo et al. 2007).

It relates to 'the belief that exposure to large quantities of written material combined with the effort made in reading helps to develop reading ability' (Robb 1989, 239). For ER to be effective, the context of the words must be interesting and largely effortless (Day and Bamford 1998).

Reading should not be a chore, but rather an enjoyable past-time, in order for incidental language learning to occur (Krashen, 1993).

Several other writers have experimented with the concept of reading large amounts of text on a voluntary basis, and there are many studies concerning the results - most of which found that reading extensively did improve SLLs ability to not only read, but also write (Elley 1991; Lai 1993).

In the lights the of literature that I have mentioned above that there isn't enough study on fostering learner autonomy and the role of book reporting. My specific aim is to make contribution to this area and search of the role of book reporting on learner autonomy which wasn't studied before. And I also look for the positive and negative effects of book reporting on learner autonomy.

3. Methodology

3.1. Participants

The 30 students studying English as second language and volunteers from a beginner level and they are studying engineering departments such Aerospace Engineering, Computer Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Electronics Engineering. Apart from engineering departments there is also Management Undergraduate Program. They are young adult male learners of English at a state university and they were selected randomly. The age range is between 19 and 21 years old. The participants were divided into two groups as control and experimental group.

3.2. Instrumentation

Questionnaire and observation was used to collect data. The questionnaire, which had items adapted from a study conducted at Gazi University, Promoting Learner Autonomy Through Activities at Gazi University Preparatory School. The autonomy questionnaire was used at the beginning and at the end of the ten weeks period. It contained statements and used a five-point likert scale with the following choices: (5) Strongly Agree, (4) Agree, (3) Partly Agree , (2) Strongly Disagree, (1) Disagree. And each item in the questionnaire was given in Turkish not to have understanding problems. First of all a pre-test was given both control group and experimental group and the results was kept. After the pre-test control group didn't make presentation of what they read but the experimental group made presentation of their books after reading. The experimental group read five books from pre-intermediate to elementary levels and the post-test was given both of the groups after ten weeks and the results were compared. The SPSS was used to evaluate the results.

3.3. Procedures

This study was conducted in a state university by the teachers of English with beginner level students for ten weeks and the study was conducted according to research plan designed in the beginning of the study so any kind of changes didn't occur during the study. 30 volunteer students were divided into two groups as control group and experimental group and the pre-test was applied to groups and the data were kept. Books were chosen by experimental group students from the school library according to their level and book summary presentations were made in three or five minutes at the end of the each second week by experimental group students. The presentations were made in front of the class and the questions from listeners were answered after each presentation.

The presenter mentioned about the main characters of the book, theme of the book, and made the summary of the book with his own words. In this time control group continued their daily activities and didn't make any presentation. The post-test applied to groups at the end of the ten weeks and the results were compared by means of SPSS. Students were observed during this period by the teachers of the classes and some notes were also taken about students performance.

4. Results

First of all, the participants' answers for the pre-test and the post-test were compared using SPSS (Table 1).

Table 1. Pre-Tests of Control and Experimental Groups











(Control Group)










Mean (Experimental Group)










When the means of statements were observed there weren't big differences between them. Because in the beginning there wasn't any treatment for each group and the results were expected but the results changed at the end of the ten weeks. The means of experimental group were higher than control group means. It is showed in Table 2.

Table 2. Post-Tests of Control and Experimental Groups










Mean (Control Group)










Mean (Experimental Group)









3,2667These results were got at the end of ten weeks and there are great differences between the means of each questionnaire. These great differences can be explained as a natural result of the book reporting because participants read five books during this period and they made presentations after each book. The results pointed out that book reporting has positive effect on learner autonomy. As it observed in Table 1, there weren't big difference the means but great differences were observed in Table 2. In short, the book reporting has effect on learner autonomy.

Apart from questionnaire, the participants were observed during each session and some notes were taken. Participants were the same in the beginning so there wasn't a big difference in class performance until the presentations. The experimental group students felt more autonomous after each presentation and they were more active than the others. Because they got self-confidence as a result of presentation and they achieved something difficult for them. Maybe they might not talk about any subject in Turkish before presentations; but they did this in English after the presentations. In the beginning of the period they worried about the presentation because they didn't make a presentation like this before but especially after the second presentation they started to feel relaxed. They had also some positive attitudes in English such as being more active in the English lesson, discussing the topics in English, and having fluency in their speaking skills.

4.1. Discussion

The results clearly show that the book reporting has an important role on learner autonomy. It is also surprising to note that students became more successful in the lessons after presentations. In Turkish culture reading doesn't have a place, they like watching instead of reading and they have a poor speaking skill as a result. This can be also observed between the students so participants were believed to the necessity of reading to learn a second language in the beginning of the study. And then presentations of the books were asked, they read the book carefully and detailed not to have problems during presentation in front of the class. When they reached the success they had self-confidence as a result so the results came out like this. In this study the role of book reporting on learner autonomy was studied and positive results were gained at the end. It might be possible positive result if the role of movie presentation were studied as different research. Because students like watching English movie in the lessons or outside the lessons.

5. Conclusions

This study was conducted with 30 beginner level students studying at different Engineering Departments in a Turkish state university. It investigated the contribution or role of book reporting on learner autonomy and both qualitative and quantitative results of the study indicate that the book presentation has an important role on learner autonomy and it has contributions to autonomy of the learners. Because they read English books on their own, and presented the summary of the books in front of the class. The majority of the students also had positive attitudes towards the English lesson after the presentations. In short, the autonomy of participants improved and the book reporting has positive influence on learner autonomy.

5.1. Limitations and Suggestions for Further Research

This research was done in state university with a small sample and the participants were too busy. Because they were studying in engineer departments and they had to carry out some responsibilities at the same time so they didn't have enough time for reading but the results were positive. It can be inferred from the results that book reporting is important for learner autonomy. This study can be done with a large sample in primary schools, high schools, and private universities. The better results may be reached by means of large sample. The gender difference may be studied and the results may be compared in terms of gender.


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Littlewood , W.T. (1999). Defining and developing autonomy in East Asian Contex. Applied Linguistics 20 (1), 71-92.

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Sinclair, I. McGrath and T. Lamb (eds.) Learner autonomy, teacher autonomy: Future directions. London: Longman. 89-99.

Rodrigo, Victoria, Daphne Greenberg, Victoria Burke, Ryan Hall, Angelee Berry, Tanya Brinck, Holly Joseph, and Michael Oby 2007. Implementing an extensive reading program and library for adult literacy learners. Reading in a Foreign Language 19 (2): 106-119,

Robb, T N. 1989. Extensive reading vs. skills building in an EFL context. Reading in a Foreign Language 5 (2): 239-251, http://

Krashen, S. D. 1993. The case for Free Voluntary Reading. The Canadian modern language review 50 (1 ):72 -82.

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Learner Autonomy Questionnaire







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