What is Independent Learning?

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What is Independent Learning All About?

You may be wondering what CELPAD Independent Language Learning Center (CILLC) is for and what independent learning is all about. The following are frequently asked questions about independent learning and their answers.

What is independent learning?

Independent learning is a way of learning without the direct control of a teacher. Different learners have different language needs. Yours may not be the same as those of your friends.  Also, your learning style and the pace you learn may be different from those of others.  So, this centre is where you could learn at your own pace and explore your language needs the way you prefer.

How is classroom teaching different from independent learning?

Classroom learning requires the student to follow a teacher-directed programme, while independent learning is based on a programme designed by yourself. Both ways of learning are important to progress in your language skills. However, it is when you can take charge of your own learning by deciding what skills you need in order to improve your language, what materials are suitable,  what exercise is required as well as what kind of assessment is needed that you will progress in a more meaningful way.

Am I able to design my own learning programme?

Certainly! You may worry that you lack the skills a professional language teacher has and you may not be able to address your language needs. Don’t worry. There are various handouts that can help you find out your language needs and plan your study.

Do I still need a teacher in independent learning?

In independent language learning, you take an active role in planning your learning. Your teacher will assume a different role from the one in class. He/she will be there to facilitate your learning by organising materials, giving advice when you need some, and the like. He/ she will always be there to assist and support you. There will also be a Language Advisor in the centre whom you can approach for advice on any point in your study.

How is an Independent Language Centre different from a language laboratory?

An Independent Language Centre is organised in such a way whereby materials are catalogued to facilitate individualised choice. The full range of the skills needed in language learning (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening) are catered to. Therefore, you can polish all your skills under one roof, so to speak. A language lab, however, focuses mainly on the listening and speaking skills.

How should I plan my study?

You decide on what to learn according to your needs and interest. You can also choose how long you want to spend in the centre. Nevertheless, you have to be realistic about the urgency of your needs and availability of time. In order to learn more effectively, you need to set aside a reasonable period of time and plan your goals. Talk to your teacher about making your own plan of study and he/ she will assist you.

Does independent learning take place only in CILLC?

There are many other ways of studying independently. This centre contains a lot of useful materials and facilities. Other resources are also useful. You can also use the library on campus as well as other resource centers in the other Kulliyyahs, or even in the mahallahs. Even at home, you can find lots of opportunities to learn, such as watching English or Arabic films, listening to the radio or hosting your own blog.

Independent learning can happen anywhere.

Now do you feel the answers have given you a clearer idea of how this Centre can benefit you?

Feel free to approach any staff on duty if you need any assistance.