learning and the understanding of various thinking strategies are taught. Activities included are group building and self- understanding activities.
➢ Individual development: The second part of the program where the development of skills necessary for lifelong learning are taught. These skills include learning skill, interpersonal skills and career involvement skills.
➢ Enrichment: The third part of the program where students are given opportunities to explore content that is not in their school curriculum such as exploration, cultural activities.
➢ Seminar: This provides platforms for the students to express their ideas as a group. They are encouraged to develop, do research, and present topics.
➢ In – depth study: This is a long term study by group or individuals determined by students. Students are encouraged to do presentations and evaluate what they have done in individual and group projects (Ahmad &Yaakub, 2004, p. 4).
2.10.3 Characteristics of Autonomous Learners
As Tait and Knight(1995), pointed ” the development of autonomy in learners is a process, not a one-off event”(cited in Hughes, 2003, p.4).The Characteristics of autonomous learners are as follows:
➢ self-awareness and reflection
➢ intrinsically motivated
➢ the ability to plan and manage own learning being in control of learning environment
➢ institutional awareness understanding requirements and procedures (knowing how .the system. operates)
➢ ability to formulate own questions
➢ possessing the research and information skills necessary to pursue a line of enquiry
➢ interdependence the ability to work well with peers, and to recognize when appropriate support and guidance from tutors and peers will be helpful
➢ critical thinking
➢ discipline and subject awareness knowing how knowledge has been and is created in your subject area (Hughes, 2003, p.5).
2.11 Research in Learner Autonomy
Many studies have been done in autonomy since 20 years ago. Cotterall (2000) conducted promoting learner autonomy through the curriculum principles for designing language courses study. Cotterall’s (2000) study argued that fostering learner autonomy is an important and appropriate goal in language course design. Moreover, Dam’s (1994) study is an excellent introduction to autonomy in the classroom. Voller’s (1997) study is a good introductory paper on the role of the teacher in autonomous learning ( cited in Benson, 2006, p.2). Besides, Little (2009) carried out Language Learner Autonomy and the European Language Portfolio study.Little’s (2009) article argued that the Council of Europe’s European Language Portfolio is capable of supporting the implementation of language learner autonomy on a large scale.
2.12 Learner Creativity
2.12.1 What is Creativity?
In the following paragraphs, the researcher will review the concept of creativity as well as the empirical findings concerning the relation of creativity to academic achievements both in general education and in language learning.
Psychologists have approached this problem of definition from a variety of angles. So , they discussed around either the creative person or the creative process. Although today many theorists keep on thinking of creativity as a process, their definitions most frequently cite characteristics of the produce as the distinguishing signs of creativity. (Hennessey & Amabile, 1987).
Furthermore, as Feldhausen and Westby (2003) stated:
Creativity is the production of ideas, problem solutions, plans, works of art, musical compositions, sculptures, dance routines, poems, novels, essays, designs, theories, or devices that at the lowest level are new and of value to the creator and at the highest level are recognized, embraced, honored, or valued by all or large segments of society. Between the lowest and highest levels is a continuum of more or less recognized and useful creative productions, but always the production is new, novel, or unique relative to some definable context (cited in Dornyei, 2008, p.203).
As Dörnyei (2008) stated, most scholars contend that there is no single definition of creativity. Nevertheless, many scholars have made attempts to understand the nature of creativity, and the ways through which it can be nurtured (e.g., Guilford,1950; Plucker, Beghetto & Dow, 2004; Runco, 2004).
2.12.2. Categories of Creativity
According to Lurat (1994), there are two large categories, basic – level and high- level creativity abilities.
Basic – level consists of two types the above-described divergent thinking and different insight abilities comprising the capacities to notice relevant new information, to compare disparate information, to find relevant connections, and to combine information in a problem-relevant fashion. High-level abilities include problem finding, problem definition or redefinition, choosing a useful problem presentation, selecting an appropriate problem-solving strategy, and evaluating the generated possibilities effectively (cited in Albert & Kormos, 2004, p.281).
Moreover, researchers believe that creativity rests on the same cognitive foundations as other intellectual abilities, such as intelligence. As a result, the cognitive abilities that form the basis of creativity are usually integrated into comprehensive theories of intellect (cited in Albert and Kormos , 2004, p. 282).
2.12.3 Academic Achievements
According to Torrance (1981), to create a responsible environment through high teacher enthusiasm and appreciation of individual differences can be the most important purpose of creative teaching. Feldhusen and Treffinger(1980) and Davis (1991) also believed establishing creative environment is important to encourage creative thinking (cited in Fasko Jr., 2001, p.319).Likewise, Feldhusen and Treffinger (1980) provided several recommendations for establishing a classroom environment conducive to creative thinking:
• Support and reinforce unusual ideas and responses of students.
• Use failure as a positive to help students realize errors and meet acceptable standards in a supportive atmosphere.
• Adapt to student interests and ideas in the classroom whenever possible.
• Allow time for students to think about and develop their creative ideas. Not all creativity occurs immediately and spontaneously.
• Create a climate of mutual respect and acceptance between students and between students and teachers, so that students can share, develop, and learn together and from one another as well as independently.
• Be aware of the many facets of creativity besides arts and crafts: verbal responses, written responses both in prose and poetic style, fiction and nonfiction form. Creativity enters all curricular areas and disciplines.
• Encourage divergent learning activities. Be a resource provider and director.
• Listen and laugh with students. A warm, supportive atmosphere provides freedom and security in exploratory thinking.
• Allow students to have choices and be a part of the decision-making process. Let them have a part in the control of their education and learning experiences.
• Let everyone get involved, and demonstrate the value of involvement by supporting student ideas and solutions to problems and projects (cited in Fasko Jr., 2001, pp.319 -320).
2.12.4. The Components of Creative Performance
It is better to take a look at these questions: what does it mean when a child scores high (or low) on a creativity test or task? Is it appropriate, for example, to consider high scorers as creative persons? Is creativity an enduring, if not in – born characteristic like as IQ or other individual differences variables? Psychologists primarily concerned with defining the creative personality have concentrated on describing the social characteristics of famous or widely recognized creative people or on describing the differences in personality and intellect between people who do well on creativity tests and those who do not(Hennessy &Amabile, 1987). In contrast with this approach, it is important to identify particular social and environmental conditions that can positively or negatively influence the creativity of most individuals. According to the conceptual model views creativity is not as an innate characteristic but as a variable aspect of performance. Therefore, creativity is viewed as depending on both temporary states and enduring traits. It was believed that all persons have creative potential which can be determined by the intersection of three major factors: domain-relevant skills, creativity-relevant skills, and intrinsic task motivation.( Hennessey & Amabile , 1987).
2.13 Research in Learner Creativity
Fasko Jr (2001) conducted Education and Creativity study .He had tried to understand the nature of creativity to assess it and to improve instruction by teaching for creativity as well as teaching students to think creativity. Fasko Jr’s (2001) article reviewed the investment theory of creativity, propulsion theory of creative contributions. Likewise, Creativity and Narrative task performance were carried by Albert and Kormos (2011). The aim of Albert and Kormos’ (2011) article is to investigate the effect of creativity on performance in oral narrative tasks. The findings suggested that the three components of creativity had a differential effect on the measures of task performance. Creative fluency was positively correlated with the quantity of talk. Additionally, learner creativity in foreign language achievement was done by Khodadady , Pishghadam and Zabihi ( 2011). Thus, their paper aimed at examining the relationship between creativity and foreign language
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