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Maintaining Control

Autonomy and Language Learning

Edited by Richard Pemberton ,Sarah Toogood ,Andy Barfield

Publication Year: 2009

This volume brings together major contributions from the 2004 Autonomy and Language Learning: Maintaining Control conference and provides different critical interpretations of autonomy in second language education. Contributors include Naoko Aoki, Phil Benson, Sara Cotterall, Edith Esch, Terry Lamb, David Little, Phil Riley, Barbara Sinclair, Richard Smith and Ema Ushioda.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-xi


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pp. 1-10

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1. Maintaining Control: An introduction

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pp. 3-10

The origins of this book lie in a major conference entitled ‘Autonomy and Language Learning: Maintaining control’ held in Hong Kong and Hangzhou (mainland China) in June 2004. That conference was the younger sibling of another important conference held 10 years earlier, also...

Theories and discourses of autonomy and language learning

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pp. 11-63

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2. Making sense of autonomy in language learning

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pp. 13-26

In December 1976, a group of language educators gathered at the University of Cambridge to discuss an idea that was, at the time, largely unheard of in the field of language teaching and learning. The idea was ‘autonomy’ and the discussion that took place was preserved for...

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3. Crash or clash? Autonomy 10 years on

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pp. 27-44

In the first part of this chapter, I show how the notion of autonomy has spread into language pedagogy in the past 10 years and how this mainstreaming has been accompanied by conceptual distortions and discursive dissonances. Such dissonances can be located in the...

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4. Discursive dissonance in approaches to autonomy

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pp. 45-63

This was a very timely conference, not just because it marked a 10th anniversary, but more importantly because that period has been one of intense research, practice and reflection in our field, a period of growing competence and confidence during which myriads of ideas have been...

Practices of learner autonomy

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pp. 65-144

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5. Controlling learning: Learners’ voices and relationships between motivation and learner autonomy

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pp. 67-86

The rationale for this chapter is closely linked to the context of foreign language learning in English secondary schools, a context in which motivation to learn languages is recognised as being in need of development (Nuffield Languages Inquiry 2000; King 2003). Research...

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6. Learner autonomy in a mainstream writing course: Articulating learning gains

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pp. 87-107

The starting point for this chapter was my interest in exploring gains in metacognitive knowledge about writing which occurred during a onesemester course in academic writing (WRIT 151) that I was teaching and coordinating. The course aimed to develop both learners’ knowledge...

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7. Reflective lesson planning: Promoting learner autonomy in the classroom

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pp. 109-124

Learner autonomy is a somewhat nebulous concept. It is, in Holec’s (1981: 3) widely used definition, “the ability to take charge of one’s own learning”. However, for language teachers wanting to develop a more student-centred approach in the classroom which might lead to...

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8. The use of logbooks — a tool for developing learner autonomy

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pp. 125-144

Even though it is nearly 30 years since the first steps were taken towards developing learner autonomy in the EFL classroom in Denmark (see Dam & Gabrielsen 1988), it is my experience that very few teachers have actually taken up the principles of autonomous language teaching...

Practices of teacher autonomy

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pp. 145-238

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9. Learner autonomy, the European Language Portfolio and teacher development

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pp. 147-173

This chapter is about learner autonomy and the contribution that the European Language Portfolio (ELP) can make to learner and teacher development in language learning contexts where learner autonomy is a central goal. The first part of the chapter explores the concept of...

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10. The teacher as learner: Developing autonomy in an interactive learning environment

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pp. 175-198

In this chapter, I consider how teachers of English in China may be encouraged to develop greater autonomy, both as teachers and learners, through e-learning in an interactive learning environment. Using data from an extensive needs analysis research for two collaborative e-learning...

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11. Defending stories and sharing one: Towards a narrative understanding of teacher autonomy

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pp. 199-216

There has been a growing sense of need among second language teachers and researchers to focus on the learner as a social being (Norton Pierce 1995; Norton 2000; Pavlenko & Lantolf 2000; Toohey 2000; Pavlenko et al. 2001; Pavlenko 2002; Block 2003; Johnson 2004; Pavlenko & Blackledge 2004). Underlying these authors’ work is an awareness...

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12. Autonomy and control in curriculum development: ‘Are you teaching what we all agreed?’

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pp. 217-238

The purpose of curriculum development is usually to achieve greater coordination and integration between people, resources and practices. Even when such reforms are not explicitly directed at the promotion of learner autonomy, many challenging issues about autonomy and control...


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pp. 239-253

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13. Autonomy: Under whose control?

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pp. 241-253

We would like to begin this commentary/response by declaring a personal interest — we each, separately, know all the authors of the preceding chapters, many of them as friends, colleagues and/or collaborators. Briefly, here is how...


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pp. 255-258


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pp. 259-281


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pp. 283-292

E-ISBN-13: 9789888052547
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622099234

Page Count: 304
Illustrations: 41 b/w illus and tables
Publication Year: 2009