Global interest in autonomy in language teaching and learning is growing year by year. At the same time, many teachers believe that autonomy may work “elsewhere”, but that it will never work “here”–the place in which they live and work. In this presentation, I will argue that there is, in fact, no ideal “elsewhere” for autonomy. After revisiting the meanings of learner autonomy and teacher autonomy–and what may be considered as universal within them–I will argue that fostering autonomy is essentially a matter of critical engagement with situated constraints on learner control over learning. I will conclude by outlining a framework that teachers can use to evaluate constraints on autonomy in their workplaces and by suggesting a number of techniques that they can use to work within and around these constraints.
|Publication status||Published - 2011|