A teacher-learner's view of development in language-learning autonomy across languages and learning contexts

Elizabeth Anne WALKER

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

This paper is a first-person account of different levels of control over learning in four languages, for diverse purposes and in diverse contexts and classrooms, over a period of 35 years. The classrooms range from traditional, teacher-fronted places, far from the target language context, to a room in a private home within the target language community. The analysis, from a developmental perspective, considers the curriculum, context and individual in the context. These three dimensions are mainly informed by Johnson's (1989) framework for evaluating curriculum learner-centerdness, Auerbach's (1995) analysis of power in classrooms, Benson's (2001) work on autonomy, and Norton Peirce's (1995) conceptualization of social identity and self-investment in language learning. Within the constraints of the data, a self-assessment is made of the learning outcomes associated with varying degrees of learner autonomy, particularly in Cantonese learning. The paper argues for an important role for learner autonomy in optimizing learning outcomes, depending on contextual factors. It also draws on experience as a current teacher educator and former participant in the English teaching export industry, to discuss implications for teacher development practices and the modern English teaching industry.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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autonomy
teacher
language
learning
classroom
private home
curriculum
industry
Teaching
self-assessment
educator
human being
community
experience

Citation

Walker, E. (2004, June). A teacher-learner's view of development in language-learning autonomy across languages and learning contexts. Paper presented at the Conference of Autonomy and Language Learning: Maintaining Control, Hong Kong, China.

Keywords

  • Theory and Practice of Teaching and Learning