As distance learning and other nontraditional methods of language learning become more populal; it is important to understand the factors that influence learners' ability to succeed in such environments. This paper reports on two factors that have a signijcant impact on the student experience in a self-instructed language program: locus of learning and use of affective strategies. Locus of learning describes students' beliefs about who controls the education process. This study found that learn ers with an internal locus of learning are more likely to be successful in self-instructed language learning than those with an external locus of learning. Moreovel; successful self-instructed learners made use of affective strategies, whereas less successful learn ers did not. These affective factors may play a critical role in self-access language learning.