R. Matsuoka1, A. Rahimi2

1National College of Nursing (JAPAN)
2Bangkok University (THAILAND)
In this globalized society, English as a lingua franca has become an essential factor to be successful in any area. Employment of digital technology or computer-assisted language learning (CALL) should be utilized in order to maximize the efficiency of learning English within the limited class hours. Following the positive evaluation of TLT (Testing-Learning-Training) software program using SLA theory (Matsuoka, 2011), the present paper examines the structure of learners’ autonomy and self-efficacy in employing this English learning program using their dead time, aiming to explore the ways in which to boost their autonomy and self-efficacy, based on the qualitative data from Japanese college students. The questionnaire consisting of open items a) the reason why they do or do not engage themselves in digital learning outside of class using their dead time b) the ways in which they can develop their independent learning styles and c) comments and suggestions regarding independent digital learning, was administered to college students in Japan, for investigating their autonomy or self-regulated attitudes and self-efficacy in learning English.

Preliminary summary of findings from the data for each item is as follows;
a) The reasons why they do or do not engage themselves in digital learning outside of class using their dead time:
Many participants confessed they have not spent sufficient time for digitalized learning system though their motivation or desire of improving English is reasonably high. They point out that required assignment from other subjects has been demanding and it has been difficult to spare time for learning English using their computers or smart phones. Some have complaints on using the digital devices as their eyes become worn out and the radio wave is not always available on train when they have some dead time. The other negative comments include the boredom in doing repetitive drills and doubts on effectiveness in doing facile practices.
b) The ways in which they can develop their independent learning styles
Some participants are aware of importance of learning English using their dead time and they have determined to do so as a routine or on a regular basis. On the other hand, other participants have noticed the difficulty of controlling themselves and found it inevitable to establish their autonomous and self-regulated styles of learning. One suggestion is to decide the daily minimum amount and time spent for digital learning based on their schedule.
c) Comments and suggestions regarding independent digital learning
Many participants suggest that they should raise their self-regulated attitudes towards learning English because of their intense desire to communicate effectively in English. Some declare they are significantly fond of English and eager to use it more interactively; therefore, learning English via digital device discourages their enthusiasm.

Taken into account their voices, provision of homework seems to be a starting point to raise their positive attitudes for digital learning, encouraged by cultural propensity of being obedient among Japanese college students. Through some controlling structure, fostering autonomy and enhancing self-efficacy for digital learning will be eventually realized as Jan, Reeve and Deci (2010) point out. Based on these empirical findings, some theoretical interpretations regarding autonomy and self-efficacy will be discussed.