Northcentral University, Arizona, United States of America
The blended learning model became popular and more practical for both teachers and learners in foreign language education because of its effective methodology for course delivery and socialization opportunities with technology-enhanced learning activities in both online and offline environments. Although the effectiveness of blended language learning models and benefits of student achievement and autonomous learning with an language management system (LMS) have been explored, prior research resulted in conflicting data on blended instruction identifying the inconsistent findings in student achievement. The specific problem is that the low language achievement of students seems to be related to lack of autonomous language learning skills, but their perceptions of the blended language courses regarding language achievement and autonomous learning skill have not been previously identified and analyzed. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to investigate student perceptions of course effectiveness factors for language proficiency as well as learner autonomy in a blended Korean language course. American Air Force students who attended intermediate and advanced blended Korean language courses applied with the LMS, SAKAI at the Osan Language Training Detachment (LTD), Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) in Korea, were invited to participate in the anonymous, open-ended online survey. Data from 10 of the participants were analyzed and evaluated. This study found the blended Korean language course was effective for language learning and achievement, but only 50% of participants stated it was effective for the improvement of autonomous learning skills. The factors students found to be effective and ineffective as well as suggestions offered to improve the blended language course were discussed. The findings will be able to improve language achievement and autonomous learning for future learner success as well as curriculum design in other foreign language courses in DLIFLC or other institutions.
blended language learning, LMS, student perceptions, language achievement, learner autonomy, course effectiveness factors, curriculum design