Jurnalul meu

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luni, noiembrie 06, 2006

Autonomy

In the chapter intitled Theory and Research: Autonomy in Language Learning, Deborah Healey starts out by outlining a general definition of "autonomy", following-according to her sayings (p. 391)- the term "self-direction" used by Dickinson (1987). She then discusses more in detail some important factors which affect the degree of autonomy: issues regarding the learner, which include: "1. degree of self-motivation, 2. preference for an independent style, 3. knowledge of how one learns best, 4. knowledge of what one needs to learn" (pp. 394-395), and issues regarding the content, which include three conditions: "1. The path to the goal is relatively unambiguous. 2. What is to be learned can be explained clearly. 3. Appropriate resources exist for self-directed language learning." (p. 396). Healey then gears her discussion towards building autonomy in CALL environments and starts out from the five preconditions for motivation suggested by Good and Brophy (1987): "1. an appropriate level of challenge or difficulty 2. learning objectives that are meaningful to the learner 3. variation in the teaching methods used 4. intrinsic and extrinsic feedback about success 5. no barriers to learning" (p. 397-398).
I agree that the level of students' autonomy depends on so many factors like: the proficiency and age of students, their goal in learning the language or addressing different learning styles, and I think that even in cases where it seems like students should mainly depend on their teacher for any of such reasons, there still can be solutions for encouraging their autonomy through, more control over the pace, for instance, or giving more attention to their learning styles. I have to admit I had not thought of self-assessment as a way to built students' autonomy, which proves that the issue of autonomy is more complex than one might think at first. I liked this chapter also because it includes a nice review of other important topics we touched upon in our course, like differenciation or building students' motivation.

4 Comments:

Blogger Dan said...

Self-assessment is really key in autonomous learning. Without the ability to perform self-checks on our learning, we don't know what we have learned already and therefore we cannot plan what to do next.

Autonomous learners, which I would probably consider most (not all) doctoral students as such, not only have clarify problems, ask questions, find information, and apply that information, they also have to judge whether each of those steps were successful and adequate. This is where self-assessment is so important. If they rely on a teacher (or other) to always provide that assessment, they will forever be tied to that other entity in the learning process. This restricts autonomy.

Dan

07 noiembrie, 2006 23:44  
Blogger Chien-han Chen said...

Acest comentariu a fost eliminat de administratorul blogului.

16 noiembrie, 2006 15:48  
Blogger Chien-han Chen said...

I always think awareness precedes action, and so does autonomy. Students need to be clearly aware of what they can do and what new or progress they can really make if they do before they really become autonomous learners. I agree with what Dan said autonomous doctoral students should be, and for me the process of looking information, apply information and asking questions always help me braoden the horizon of knowledge.

16 noiembrie, 2006 15:53  
Blogger vio said...

so, you got a blog, didn't you:)

30 noiembrie, 2006 04:04  

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