On the Role of Reflection in Developing Autonomous Diary Writing among Iranian EFL Higher Education Learners

Author

Department of Foreign languages Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University

Abstract

In this study it was aimed to investigate the outcomes of students' reflection on

their learning in the context of an out-of-class learning project via diary

writing skill. To this end, 42 freshmen following a compulsory General

English Language course at Imam Khomeini Maritime University of Noshahr

participated in the study. As part of this project, participants were encouraged

to fill in "record-of-work" forms, including a space for reflection on learning

activities, to be ultimately submitted in a portfolio. They were allowed to write

diaries in their own time, reviewing previous works before making new ones.

Their comments on diaries were also collected. Next, they were asked to take

part in a semi-structured interview. The data were then combined together. In

analyzing the data, an approach was used based on "grounded theory" in which

it was aimed to generate theory through the systematic review and

categorization of data and then categorization and their relationships were

elaborated in the process of interpretation. The results maintained that

reflection activities could keep the totality of language and involve students

both cognitively and emotionally. The activities introduced present Iranian

EFL teachers a chance to provide learners with immediate feedback and lead

them towards reflective practice and autonomous learning in educational

settings.

Keywords