Autonomy, agency and identity in foreign and second language education

Jing Peter HUANG, Philip BENSON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper reviews key constructs explored in this special issue of Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics, including autonomy, agency and identity in foreign/second language education. We first explore and compare, in relatively greater depth, the complex meanings of the two similar concepts of autonomy and agency. In discussing autonomy, we start with an analysis of the meaning of capacity and control in Benson’s (2011) broad definition of autonomy as a capacity to take control of one’s own learning, and briefly look at related issues of learner agendas and affordances. Based on a close scrutiny of the concept of agency, we propose that autonomy and agency are best treated as distinct concepts in terms of the degree of effective control over the learning-teaching process. Following a close examination of the two similar concepts of autonomy and agency, we discuss the concept of identity and finally the interrelatedness among these major concepts of autonomy, agency, and identity in language education. Copyright © 2013 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-28
JournalChinese Journal of Applied Linguistics
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

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language education
autonomy
Language Education
Autonomy
learning
linguistics
examination
Teaching

Citation

Huang, J. (P.), & Benson, P. (2013). Autonomy, agency and identity in foreign and second language education. Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics, 36(1), 7-28.

Keywords

  • Autonomy
  • Agency
  • Identity
  • Affordances
  • Learner agendas
  • Alt. title: 外語和二語教育的自主性、能動性與身份認同