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Taking Control

Autonomy in Language Learning

Richard Pemberton ,Agnes Lam ,Winnie W.F. Or ,Herbert D. Pierson

Publication Year: 1996

TAKING CONTROL: Autonomy in Language Learning focuses on an area of language learning and teaching that is currently receiving an increasing amount of attention.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

Front Matter

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pp. v-vii


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi

The papers that make up this book originated at an international conference on 'Autonomy in Language Learning', held in Hong Kong from 23-25 June 1994, and jointly organized and sponsored by the Language Centre, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the Independent Learning Centre, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. ...

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pp. 1-8

The chapters that follow provide insights into a field of language learning that has been attracting an increasing amount of attention over the last 20 years. Numerous books for language teachers have appeared during this period on the subjects of learner autonomy, self-directed learning, self-access systems and individualized/independent learning (e.g. Harding-Esch 1976; ...

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I. Introductory perspectives

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pp. 9-11

One of the main purposes of this book is to provide an account of the concept of autonomy as it relates to second language learning and to discuss how this goal can be translated into practice. In this introductory section, which sets a theoretical foundation for the book, the concept of learner autonomy is discussed from the varying perspectives of teachers, learners and self-access ...

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1. Towards autonomous learning: some theoretical, empirical and practical issues

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pp. 13-26

In this chapter I shall look at some of the theoretical, empirical and practical issues associated with the concept of learner autonomy. In the first part of the chapter, I shall provide my interpretation of some of the key terms associated with learner autonomy, as well as providing a rationale for autonomous learning. The second part of the chapter contains a selective review of some research which illuminates issues of relevance to ...

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2. Concepts of autonomy in language learning

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pp. 27-34

It is often taken for granted that we know what learner autonomy for language learning is although the concept is, in fact, commonly represented in at least three different ways. For some, learner autonomy is an ideal state, seldom actually achieved, where learners are fully responsible for decisions about their own learning. For others, it represents a set of skills ...

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3. Promoting learner autonomy: criteria for the selection of appropriate methods

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pp. 35-48

The concept of autonomy has shaped views on education for thirty years in Europe, mainly through the influence of the work of the Modern Languages Project of the Council of Europe. It is a concept which arises from a fundamentally optimistic view of man according to which learners are able to be in charge of their own learning. ...

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4. Learner culture and learner autonomy in the Hong Kong Chinese context

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pp. 49-58

One concern about introducing an instructional innovation such as autonomous language learning into the Hong Kong educational environment is that it could be antipathetic to established educational traditions and practices. This is especially true when the innovations might be seen as something imported from the outside. The purpose of this chapter is to ...

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II. The learner and the learning process

This section reports on projects in which teachers/helpers interact with learners or organize a learning experience with the aim of increasing learner control over the learning process and developing learner autonomy. Similar projects, involving the use or creation of language-learning materials, are reported in later sections; here the focus is on the capacity of learners to develop new ways of learning through training or counselling or through ...

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5. A study of strategy use in independent learners

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pp. 61-75

This study arose out of the concerns of teachers on the Independent Learning Program at Macquarie University about the lack of preparedness of our students to negotiate their own learning programs. In 1991 the first Independent Learning Program was carried out at the National Centre for English Language Teaching and Research at Macquarie as part of the government-funded Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) ...

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6. Self-assessment in self-directed learning:issues of learner diversity1

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pp. 77-91

I would like to claim that we are born self-directed learners. My own experience in child rearing and a number of casual observations of other children tell me that the young ones know how to take charge of their own learning. Recent developments in psychology support this notion (Hatano and Inagaki 1990). ...

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7. Language counselling for learner autonomy:the skilled helper in self-access language learning

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pp. 93-113

Self-access language learning (SALL) is widely acknowledged as a leading innovation in TESOL. Many tertiary institutions in Asia have established self-access centres within the last five years (Miller 1992). Focusing on the needs of the individual language learner can be seen as an outcome of curriculum evolution that originated in the needs analysis protocols of early ...

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8. Conversation exchange: a way towards autonomous language learning

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pp. 115-132

The path towards learner autonomy can be characterized as learning how to learn in order to take greater control of one's own learning. There are differing points of view on how best to achieve this -- for instance, by teaching learning strategies, by raising language awareness, by deinstitutionalizing learning, or by a combination of such approaches. ...

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9. Autonomy in the classroom: peer assessment

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pp. 133-146

Promoting learner autonomy in the classroom has taken on a new focus recently with the establishment of self-access centres in many institutes throughout the world. Self-access centres rely not only on well-planned implementation and good management, but also on the learners' ability and willingness to use them. Miller and Gardner (1994) point out that much more research needs to be conducted into self-access language learning for ...

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III. Materials

This section examines the design and use of materials for autonomous language learning. Chapter 10 focuses on learner-training materials from the point of view of the materials writer. Chapters 11 and 12 are concerned with the use of authentic materials, from the point of view both of the teacher and the learner. ...

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10. Materials design for the promotion of learner autonomy: how explicit is 'explicit'?

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pp. 149-165

This chapter considers the representation in published and self-access materials of the promotion of learner autonomy in language learning. Learner autonomy is by no means a new concept, but its promotion in the field of language learning through systematic learner development (most commonly referred to as learner training) is a relatively recent phenomenon. ...

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11. The role of materials in the development of autonomous learning

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pp. 167-184

In recent years there has been a good deal of interest in the development of self-access, self-directed and autonomous learning. It is now widely believed that in order to develop learners' responsibility for their own learning, they need to have some idea of learning strategies, and should know how to choose their materials and how to evaluate themselves. Consequently, much ...

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12. Lights, camera, action: exploring and exploiting films in self-access learning

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pp. 185-200

In the language-learning spectrum of today, there are many tools available for students to use as pathways to improving both their language proficiency and their learning efficiency. The video is one of these tools as it combines natural speech patterns with the two-dimensional visual elements of film. Today, videotapes and laserdisc technology are able to provide language learners with a wealth of authentic spoken discourse. ...

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This section examines the use of technology to promote learner autonomy. As Esch points out in her chapter, technology is often seen as automatically aiding learner autonomy In fact, technology, like materials, can hinder learner autonomy just as easily as promote it -- what counts is the way in which it can be used, and the extent to which the technology controls the ...

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13.Freedom to learn and compulsion to interact:promoting learner autonomy through the use of information systems and information technologies

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pp. 203-218

This chapter is divided into two parts. In the first part I explore the nature and processes of learner autonomy, and in the second I consider how information systems and information technologies can contribute to the development of autonomy in second and foreign language learning. Essentially, I shall argue ...

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14. Interactive video as self-access support for language-learning beginners

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pp. 219-232

This chapter discusses an experiment with an interactive video program which was written to support beginner learners in using a target language movie as a source of authentic linguistic input. A key element of this approach is the provision of bilingual support screens at strategic points in the program which users can choose to access. The purpose of the ...

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15. From word processing to text processing

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pp. 233-248

This chapter describes a prototype computer-writing environment under development at the Language Centre, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). It is intended to provide some of the cognitive and linguistic support which our EFL learners require as they write. We expect this self-access resource to aid both collaborative and individual ...

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V. The evaluation of learner autonomy

Whereas several chapters in previous sections have evaluated projects designed to help learners move towards autonomy in language learning, the final chapters of the book are concerned with the evaluation of the learning that takes place in autonomous or self-access environments. In Chapter 16, a number of fundamental questions relating to research and ...

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16. 'The blind man and the bubble': researching self-access

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pp. 251-264

A blind man has friends who talk to him about the world which they can see but which he cannot. Amongst the things that interest him most are what his friends call 'bubbles'. He has a certain amount of factual but second-hand knowledge about 'bubbles': they can be made from soap-and-water or washing-up liquid, for example, forming extremely thin spherical ...

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17. The acquisition of vocabulary in an autonomous learning environment -- the first months of beginning English

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pp. 265-280

This chapter reports on our research project LAALE (Language Acquisition in an Autonomous Learning Environment) in which the language development of a class of 21 students who learn English 'the autonomous way' is compared and contrasted with proficiency levels of classes which follow a more traditional, textbook-based syllabus. The project started in ...

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18. Use and abuse of autonomy in computer-assisted language learning: some evidence from student interaction with SuperCloze

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pp. 281-302

Although the situation is steadily being corrected, it has often been noted that CALL (computer-assisted language learning) has so far developed well ahead of its research base (e.g. Dunkel 1991). The result is that developers of CALL often work on intuition alone and have little real idea what students actually do with their programs (Chapelle 1990). To compound this ...


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pp. 303-326


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pp. 327-337

E-ISBN-13: 9789882202856
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622094079

Page Count: 352
Publication Year: 1996