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This study aims to explore factors influencing two young English learners’ self-directed learning (SDL). The participants of this study are two fifth graders who enrolled in the SDL program. Influenced by the previous models (Fisher, McKeand & Hafner, 2008; McCarthy, 2009), the program was designed to enhance English learners’ autonomy. It consists of three stages: awareness raising, learner training and individual learning. The participants were encouraged to take part in all the stages. Four different methods for data collection were used: questionnaire, documents, observation with field notes and counseling. As a result, two distinguishing variables related to English learning culture of Korea were identified: negative effects of private institutions and mother dependency. Based on this study, it is suggested that teachers and educators in this area should take into account the sociocultural constraints to meet local needs when planning a self-directed learning program. Also, more research has to be done to set up a self-directed learning model for Korean young English learners as well.