A Comparative Study of the Use of Informal Learning Sources by the Young Finnish and Iranian EFL Learners

Fatemeh Tavassoli, Atefeh Aghaee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionProfessional

Abstract

Learning is not limited to formal education and can happen anywhere informally. Vygotsky’s (1978) social interactionist view of language acquisition stresses the role of environment and context in language learning. According to Krashen (1976), acquisition, as opposed to formal learning, includes implicit learning, informal learning, and natural learning. Informal learning includes many forms of learning that occur independently from instructor-led settings. With the advent of technology and specifically the Internet, the access to social environments and thus informal sources of learning has improved, making it easier for language learners to enhance their language skills. However, the utilized sources may vary in different contexts. This paper analyses and compares the informal sources of EFL learning in Finland and Iran. Based on a survey conducted on two hundred young EFL learners from both countries, the data being collected through a questionnaire whose validity was checked by factor analysis, we find similarities and differences between the two countries in terms of their sources of informal learning including people, books, media, and the Internet. For instance, while “Books” turns out to be the dominant source in Iran, the Finish students utilize “Media” as the main source. It is further argued that the main results of this study are driven by the social, cultural, and infrastructural differences and similarities in both countries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Comparative Study of the Use of Informal Learning Sources by the Young Finnish and Iranian EFL Learners
Publication statusUnpublished - 2015
MoE publication typeD3 Professional conference proceedings

Fields of Science

  • 6121 Languages
  • 518 Media and communications

Cite this