Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number 4.  December 2021                                         Pp. 503-520

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ESL Students’ Readiness for Self-Directed Learning in Improving English Writing Skills 

Nor Hafizah Adnan
Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
*Corresponding Author:

Siti Shakirah Sayadi
Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia


Received:10/3/2021                      Accepted:11/21/2021                    Published:12/17/2021

Self-directed learning among students, particularly at the upper secondary level, is still underexplored in Malaysia. Further understanding of ESL students’ readiness for self-directed learning in improving English writing skills is crucial to exploit the advantages of this learning method for their benefit. Thus, this study aimed to examine the levels of self-directedness among secondary school students and their readiness to apply self-directed learning in improving English writing skills through a survey design. A total of 50 ESL students in a secondary school responded to two sets of questionnaires that measured different variables in this research. The first questionnaire included a self-rating scale of self-directed learning, which consisted of awareness, learning strategies, learning activities, evaluation, and interpersonal skills. The second questionnaire contained questions about students’ readiness for self-directed learning in improving English writing skills. Sampling was done randomly without considering students’ academic level of English. The findings found that most students possessed a medium level of self-directedness with not much difference with the high-level ones. The study then revealed a positive relationship between students’ level of self-directedness and students’ readiness to incorporate self-directed learning in English writing skills. For instance, students with a high level of self-directedness scored higher in students’ readiness for self-directed learning in improving English writing skills than those with a low level of self-directedness. Future studies should consider self-directed learning strategies to promote lifelong effects of positive attributes towards learning experiences, such as discipline, attention, responsible, and creativity in planning learning objectives.
Keywords: ESL student, English writing skills, level of directedness, self-directed learning, students’ readiness

Cite as:  Adnan, N.H., & Sayadi, S. S. (2021). ESL Students’ Readiness for Self-Directed Learning in Improving English Writing Skills.
Arab World English Journal, 12 (4) 503-520.


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Received: 10/3/2021 
Accepted: 11/21/2021
Published: 12/17/2021

Dr. Nor Hafizah Adnan is a senior lecturer of Educational Technology at the Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Her areas of concentration are design and development of technology-enhanced learning environments, augmented reality in education, and teaching practices in a technology-oriented curriculum. ORCID:

Siti Shakirah Sayadi received a bachelor’s degree in Education (Teaching English as a Second Language) from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Her research interests include self-directed learning, language learning strategies, as well as language pedagogy and the use of technology in teaching English as Second Language.