File Name: autonomy and foreign language learning holec .zip
Autonomy in the transition from foreign language learning to foreign language teaching.
Abstract Developing learner independence has an important role in the theory and practice of language teaching. Language learning is a lifelong endeavour, not one that begins and ends in a language class room.
Most learners and teachers feel that language learning consumes a considerable amount of time. Learners have to work within and beyond the class room to develop their language skills. The notion of learner independence or learner autonomy moves into an area where learners can direct their own learning. It could mean those learning activities which take place without the immediate intervention of the teacher. In this scenario, learners set their own objectives and follow strategies devised by themselves to fulfil them.
This is in turn facilitates the learner to become more efficient and effective when they study independently.
Learners are compelled to assume responsibility for their own learning. Learner independence demands learner involvement and such involvement may lead to a deeper and better learning. Thus it can be said that the fostering of learner independence may start in a class room environment and extend beyond it.
Developing learner independence has an important role in the theory and practice of language teaching. Published by Els evier Ltd. Selection and peer-review under responsibility of ALSC Key words: learner independence; language learning; learner autonomy; learner involvement; learner reflection; within and beyond the classroom. The term 'autonomy' which is derived originally from the fields of politics and moral philosophy, is a slippery term because it is widely confused with self-instruction and independent learning.
It is also a multifaceted concept whose meaning has been discussed from many perspectives by theoreticians Benson , E-mail address: sabithasrnajeeb gmail.
Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and peer-review under responsibility of ALSC doi According to Henri Holec, its former Director, the need for a term to describe people's ability to take charge of their own learning arose for practical, though idealistic reasons. This is how the concept of 'learner autonomy' came into existence. Holec He defined learner autonomy as the "ability to take charge of one's own learning".
He also noted that this ability "is not inborn but must be acquired either by 'natural' means or as most often happens by formal learning, i. But Trebbi argues that 'taking charge of one's own learning' is a verbiage since no learning takes place unless the learner is in charge. He is of the view that taking charge of one's own learning is a prerequisite of learning and learning itself is impossible without the learner actually taking charge.
Benson and Voiler defined leaner autonomy as the ability to take personal or "self regulated" responsibility for learning and it can be an indicator to predict academic performance. Their point of view is that autonomy is a multidimensional construct of capacity that will take different forms for different individuals.
It will also take different forms for the same individual in different contexts and at different times. Taking the above theories into consideration, we can purport that learner autonomy is a construct of capacity for making informed decisions about one's own learning. However, Holec sees autonomous learning as a double process.
On the one hand, it entails learning the foreign language; on the other, learning how to learn. Holec's definition entails that autonomous learners can freely apply their knowledge and skills outside the immediate context of learning. Thus autonomous learning extends beyond a school context: it is a life-long process of constantly developing awareness.
Learning a foreign language is an interactive, social process. This aspect of learning is not taken into account in Holec's definition.
The social aspect of learning entails a capacity and willingness to act independently and in co-operation with others, as a socially responsible person. This belief in the value of interdependent learning in classrooms and beyond led leading practitioners to view learner autonomy as 'a capacity and willingness to act independently and in cooperation with others, as a social, responsible person' Dam et al.
The notions of autonomous learning and independent learning are sometimes interlinked and have come to play an increasingly important role in language education. Independent language learning is characterised by optimising or extending learner choice, focusing on the needs of individual learners, not the interests of a teacher or an institution, and the choice of decision-making to learners.
It is also learner-centred which views learners as individuals with needs and rights, who can develop and exercise responsibility for their learning. Independent learners are expected to develop the ability to engage with, interact with, and derive benefit from learning environments which are not directly mediated by a teacher.
Within the research literature though, the relationship between independence and autonomy is not so fluid: Little states that learner autonomy emphasises 'interdependence' over 'independence' in learning, whereas Dickinson , associates independence with active responsibility for one's learning and autonomy with the idea of learning alone.
He sees autonomy as involving 'an ability to operate independently with the language and use it to communicate personal meanings in real, unpredictable. It is not unusual for learner autonomy and learner independence to be used interchangeably, as synonyms, or near synonyms Fisher et al. The expectation that language learners can be independent, underlies much of the writing on learner autonomy. The three basic pedagogical principles which underlines autonomy in language learning is learner involvement engaging learners to share responsibility for the learning process , learner reflection helping learners to think critically when they plan, monitor and evaluate their learning and appropriate use of target language using the target language as the principal medium of language learning.
Holec , Allwright and Little theorize that autonomous learners can be seen as those who are able to reflect on their own learning through knowledge about learning and who are willing to learn in collaboration with others. These learners understand the purpose of their learning programme, explicitly accept responsibility for their learning, share in the setting of learning goals, take initiatives in planning and executing learning activities, and regularly review their learning and evaluate its effectiveness.
In other words, there is a consensus that the practice of learner autonomy requires insight, a positive attitude, a capacity for reflection, and a readiness to be proactive in self-management and in interaction with others. The learner has to be equipped and empowered to exercise his autonomy as and when it is required. It is at this juncture that the continuing teacher's role in promoting the psychological attributes and practical abilities involved in learner autonomy and in engaging studrats' existing autonomy within classroom practice becomes crucial Benson , Dam Supportive engagement of learners' existing autonomy by the teacher can be seen as an important basis for its progressive development; indeed, the notion that learners have the power and right to learn for themselves is seen by many proponents as a fundamental tenet Smith Vygotsky sees learning as a matter of supported performance and emphasises the social-interactive dimensions of the learning process.
According to this model, the teacher's role is to create and maintain a learning environment in which learners can be autonomous in order to become more autonomous. The development of their learning skills is never entirely separable from the content of their learning.
Unfortunately, many learners seem not to understand the importance of practice when it comes to learning the skills required for study. If the learning environment is comfortable where the learners feel encouraged, they are more likely to experiment with different learning strategies and not be afraid to ask questions and to ask for assistance when necessary. Learners also need to be given the skills to be able to seek out materials and resources outside the classroom to enable them to improve their recognition of what is relevant and what is not.
They need to be able to recognise that these research skills are important and transferable and can be utilised when they go on to further study. Strategies for successful autonomisation include the use of the target language as the preferred medium of teaching and learning from the very beginning; the gradual development by the learners of a repertoire of useful learning activities; and ongoing evaluation of the learning process, achieved by a combination of teacher, peer and self-assessment.
Posters and learner logbooks play a central role in three ways: they help learners to capture much of the content of learning, support the development of speaking, and provide a focus for assessment. Independence and autonomy can be encouraged by giving the learners tools for success in their further study.
These tools include helping the learners to understand their real goals and to develop skills to enable them to find the answers and information they need in order for them to be successful in reaching these goals. Learners need to be able to be aware of and understand their own learning styles and to use these to their advantage. At the same time, they should be willing to adapt to a more autonomous method of learning.
As they gain confidence they will be more able to monitor their own learning which will in turn make them confident and give them a sense of achievement.
Allwright, D. Centre for Research in Education: University of Lancaster. Aoki, N. Aspects of teacher autonomy: Capacity, freedom, and responsibility. Benson and S. Benson, P Teaching and Researching Autonomy in Language Learning. Harlow, England: Longman. Benson, P. Autonomy and independence in language learning. London: Longman. Dam, L. Developing awareness of learning in an autonomous language learning context. Riley Eds. Presses Universitaires de Nancy. Dickinson, L. Esch Ed. London: CILT.
Fisher, D. Integrating independent learning: lessons learned and implications for the classroom. Gardner Ed. Dublin: Authentik.
Lamb, T. Supporting independent learning: Issues and Interventions. Frankfurt: Peter Lang. Mozzon-McPherson, M. Promoting and supporting independent learning out of the classroom: an analysis of the skills of advising and their implications on the emerging role of language learning advisers.
Smith, R. Pedagogy for autonomy as becoming- appropriate methodology. Smith Eds. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
We are autonomous in relation to a particular task when we can perform it i independently, without assistance from others, ii beyond the immediate context in which we acquired the knowledge and skills on which successful task performance depends, and iii flexibly, taking account of new and unexpected factors. Autonomy in this behavioural sense is a criterion of success in developmental learning, including first language acquisition; it is also a goal of educational systems to the extent that they seek to equip learners with knowledge and skills they can deploy spontaneously in their life beyond the classroom. The same is true of the autonomy that is a coincidental mark of success in formal learning. This chapter is concerned with knowledge about language in L2 learning contexts shaped by such a pedagogy. The concept of learner autonomy was first introduced into the ongoing debate about L2 learning and teaching by Henri Holec in a report published by the Council of Europe in Holec, Work on learner autonomy that has focused on the psychological processes of learning e. Little, has mostly adopted a broadly constructivist perspective, drawing in particular on work in developmental psychology, notably by Piaget , Vygotsky , and Bruner
Abstract Developing learner independence has an important role in the theory and practice of language teaching. Language learning is a lifelong endeavour, not one that begins and ends in a language class room. Most learners and teachers feel that language learning consumes a considerable amount of time. Learners have to work within and beyond the class room to develop their language skills. The notion of learner independence or learner autonomy moves into an area where learners can direct their own learning. It could mean those learning activities which take place without the immediate intervention of the teacher.
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Holec ( 3) describes the term 'learner autonomy' as “the ability to take charge of one's own learning”. The concept of learner autonomy, promoted by Holec.
Language Editing Service. The characteristics of the collected data legitimated running Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficient. The article concludes with some pedagogical implications and some avenues for future research.
This website is no longer being maintained. This article defines the autonomous learner; summarises arguments in favour of helping language learners to become autonomous; briefly considers the process of 'autonomisation' in language classrooms and self-access learning schemes; identifies some principal lines of research; and concludes by suggesting that the Council of Europe's European Language Portfolio may bring 'autonomisation' to much larger numbers of learners than hitherto and in doing so may provide an important focus for research. Learner autonomy is a problematic term because it is widely confused with self-instruction. It is also a slippery concept because it is notoriously difficult to define precisely.
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Learner autonomy has been a popular concept in foreign language education in the past decades, especially in relation to lifelong learning skills.Reply
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Kong University Press. Holec, H. (). Autonomy and Foreign Language Learning. Oxford: Pergamon.Reply