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The influence of Self-Organized Learning Environments (SOLEs) on EFL students in a college in Oman

Lookup NU author(s): Malik Al Zakwani, Professor Caroline Walker-Gleaves



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Infonomics Society, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This paper is part of a larger project where the researchers explored English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students’ experiences in learning English using Self-Organized Learning Environments (SOLEs) within the context of their English foundation year in a college setting in Oman. The purpose that guided this current paper is to investigate whether SOLE pedagogy is able to positively influence Omani EFL college students’ learning beliefs and behaviours. Using a participatory action research design, data sources included a series of diaries, semi-structured interviews, focus groups and the researchers’ field notes. Interaction between the researchers and participants and among participants themselves helped to ensure the rigour of this research. Throughout the research, participants were involved in expressing their ideas and thoughts about SOLEs and in decision making. The results indicated that SOLEs can be an effective EFL pedagogical approach. Some strengths of SOLEs that were indicated by the results include the SOLEs’ ability to increase students’ autonomy and their ability to motivate students. This empirical study assists in understanding the construction of an effective English language learning environment in an under-researched international context. It also contributes to previous and ongoing studies that investigate SOLEs in different contexts and fields to explore and examine their impact on students’ experiences of higher education.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Al Zakwani M, Walker-Gleaves C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Information Technologies and Lifelong Learning

Year: 2019

Volume: 2

Issue: 2

Pages: 97-106

Print publication date: 01/12/2019

Acceptance date: 17/07/2019

Date deposited: 06/01/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2633-7681

Publisher: Infonomics Society


DOI: 10.20533/jitll.2633.7681.2019.0015


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