In any given learning context, there are constraints on the development of learner autonomy. However, this does not mean that developing autonomy is not feasible. This paper firstly describes student passivity in Bachelor of Arts Graduation Paper (BAGP) writing in a four-year BA Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) program in a Chinese teachers' university. The article presents how student autonomy can be fostered within the given constraints, drawing on experience in supervising 15 students doing their BAGPs. The author argues that possibilities for developing autonomy within these constraints depend largely on teachers' willingness and capacity to live through a continuous process of mediation, negotiation, dialogue and personal interpretation concerning the teaching-learning content, process and environment. However, the process of negotiation and mediation for engaging autonomy should be pursued in an atmosphere of collegiality. Data used in this study were collected from interviews with students (supervisees) and teachers (supervisors) and are used in conjunction with field notes kept over the six months during which students conducted their BAGPs. Copyright © 2006 National Centre for English Language Teaching and Research, Macquarie University.
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2006|