Global interest in autonomy in language 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 where 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 might 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 suggesting a number of strategies that teachers can use to work within and around these constraints.
|Published - Nov 2012