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This study adopted a between-network approach to examine the relationships between three key constructs of self-directed learning (SDL) (self-management, desire for learning, and self-control), computer technology use and related personal factors (age, gender, language learning anxiety and language learning style) in a specific domain – English language learning in the university context. Students from two universities in Hong Kong (N = 404) were surveyed about their readiness for SDL and using the computer to learn on their own. The three SDL factors were found to be positively related to computer use and individual learning but negatively related to language learning anxiety, further supporting the validity of the constructs. Among the three SDL constructs, desire for learning had the strongest association with computer use. Gender and age differences were not found in the use of computers for SDL, but the older students scored higher both in desire for learning and anxiety. To facilitate university students’ computer technology use for ESL learning, it is essential to promote their desire for learning, especially for the younger students.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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