The why and how of independent learning

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Independence and autonomy, What do you think about it? …

Independence and autonomy, What do you think about it?
Interesting What we can do in class as teachers?
and the students too What they can do?

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  • 1. The Why and How of Independent Learning
  • 2. Outcomes • • • • The concept of autonomy What does autonomy involve? Profile of autonomous learners Connection between autonomy the language classroom: – Challenges and teaching opportunities
  • 3. Warm up that begin with Work in groups of three or four. Find words 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. ten: Inclination Tendency Delicate, gentle or sore A racket game Between baritone and alto Stretched tight A place to live Camping equipment Person who rents a house or an apartment
  • 4. Warm Find words that begin with up Work in groups of three or four. ten: 1. Inclination Tendency 2. Delicate, gentle or sore: Tender 3. A racket game: Tennis 4. Between baritone and alto: Tenor 5. Stretched tight: Tense 6. A place to live: Tenement 7. Camping equipment: Tent 8. Person who rents a house or an apartment: Tenant
  • 5. What is autonomy? • Work with a partner and come up with your own definition
  • 6. What is autonomy? • A generic definition: The competence to develop as a self-determined, socially responsible and critically aware participant in (and beyond) educational environments, within a vision of education as (inter)personal empowerment and social transformation. in Language Education in Europe: Towards a (Pedagogy for Autonomy Framework for Learner and Teacher Development (2007. Dublin : Authentik. Manuel Jinénez Raya, Terry Lamb, and Flávia Vieira)
  • 7. What is autonomy? • The ability to take charge of one’s own learning (Holec, cited in Griffiths, 2008) • The central issue is “decision-making in the learning process”. – This implies a change in role of the learner and teacher (more on this later)
  • 8. Autonomous learning is NOT: • • • • learning without a teacher or in isolation another teaching method just a set of skills, rules or strategies let students do what they like when they want to if they want to
  • 9. What does autonomy involve? Motivation, Self-esteem, Selfregulation, Independent action, Counseling, Learning Styles, Learning Strategies, Learner Training, Teacher Training, Self- and Peer-assessment, Critical reflection, Learner Diaries, Learner Contracts, Culture, Technology, Selfaccess, Decision-making, Affect, Multiple Intelligences, Differentiation, Selfinstruction, Learning Pathways, Perceptions and Beliefs, Goalsetting, Portfolios, Detachment…
  • 10. What does autonomy involve? • • • • • A capacity for ‘detachment’ Critical reflection Decision-making Independent action Learning styles and learning strategies
  • 11. “It’s too hot to struggle for autonomy!” New Yorker Cartoon by William Haefeli
  • 12. Autonomous learning: … maximizes learning opportunities. … encourages learners to incorporate ‘new’ forms in their language. … promotes genuine learning. AND … Without autonomous learning no one could possibly learn a language. The systems are too complex and too numerous for conscious learning. Adapted from: www.willis-elt.co.uk
  • 13. What makes an autonomous learner? • An autonomous learner: – goes beyond what the teacher presents in class. – likes to find ways to stay in contact with the target language outside the classroom. – does things beyond what the teacher asks or requests.
  • 14. What makes an autonomous learner? • An autonomous learner: – does things beyond what the teacher asks or requests. For instance, may do extra grammar exercises either in print or on line. – goes beyond what the teacher presents in class. For example, looks up a new word in a dictionary even if the teacher didn’t “teach” it during the lesson. – likes to find ways to stay in contact with the target language outside the classroom. For example, may regularly keep up with English language sites of interest on the internet.
  • 15. Becoming autonomous • Is a process of self-discovery • Needs some guidance • Implies making choices
  • 16. Teacher and learner roles in autonomous learning • • • • • Teacher Process Facilitator Feedback provider Supplier of tasks Decision maker Creator of opportunities • • • • Learner Decision maker Strategy user Manager of their autonomy Collaborator
  • 17. Open curriculum Centralization of decision making Autonomy in language teaching: A cline
  • 18. Autonomy and language teaching Focus on: – Learner involvement – Awareness of what’s relevant in their conditions and lived experience – Choice and responsibility – Social aspect of language learning
  • 19. – Learner involvement – Awareness of what’s relevant in their conditions and lived experience – Choice and responsibility – Social aspect of language learning
  • 20. Learner involvement • Learner training – Self-discipline – Self-assessment – Critical reflection upon learning progress
  • 21. Tips for self-discipline • • • • Set a time to study/do homework Learn at least one new word per day “Collect” words from the real world Use your own word to explain a grammar rule – Try explaining it to yourself – Try explaining it to others
  • 22. Adapted from McCarthy, McCarten and Sandiford Touchstone 2 Cambridge University Press
  • 23. Adapted from McCarthy, McCarten and Sandiford Touchstone 2 Cambridge University Press
  • 24. Learner involvement • Learner training – Self-discipline – Self-assessment – Critical reflection upon learning progress
  • 25. Learner involvement: practical example Woodward, T. 2009
  • 26. Baby Girl Cute Teddy bear Woodward, T. 2009
  • 27. Your turn dark Woodward, T. 2009
  • 28. – Learner involvement – Awareness of what’s relevant in their conditions and lived experience – Choice and responsibility – Social aspect of language learning
  • 29. Awareness of what’s relevant in their conditions and lived experience • Needs analysis • Difference between using English vs just remembering English
  • 30. Taken from Connect Second Ed by Richards, Barbisan and Sandy
  • 31. – Learner involvement – Awareness of what’s relevant in their conditions and lived experience – Choice and responsibility – Social aspect of language learning
  • 32. • Lesson plan vs learning plan Lessons become less predictable Students’ expectations Choosing a path
  • 33. – Learner involvement – Awareness of what’s relevant in their conditions and lived experience – Choice and responsibility – Social aspect of language learning
  • 34. Social aspect of language learning
  • 35. I just bought a new TV. about the tornado? Did I tell you about… the good news about John? I won a talent contest. my accident? Did I tell you... And guess what? Do you know what happened And you know what? Have you heard … to the woman next door? Adapted from: McCarthy, McCarten and Sandiford Touchstone, Cambridge University Press
  • 36. Social aspect of language learning: technology • Use of technology to foster autonomous learning
  • 37. Do you recognize them? Twitter Delicious Skype MySpace Google MSN Flickr Facebook
  • 38. Video maker example
  • 39. http://www.dfilm.com/live/moviemaker.html
  • 40. “I’m going away for the weekend. Would you mind feeding my husband?”
  • 41. How do I start helping my students become independent? • Get informed, read, discuss (AUTO-L online discussion list) • Give students choices, small at first • Discuss with students what they value as students as well as what is valued from students • Remember that autonomy = freedom • Needs analysis
  • 42. Needs analysis • Tasks • Teachers • Other students
  • 43. Example types of activities for autonomous learning  Cooperative  Inductive  Discovery  Problem-based  Role-plays
  • 44. Cooperative Taken from Richards, J. Interchange Third Edition Teacher’s Resource book
  • 45. Inductive
  • 46. Discovery Exercise where students receive input in the form of a text or conversation to notice, and then figure out, how an expression, word or structure is used.
  • 47. Problem-based
  • 48. Problem-based
  • 49. Role plays Types: - Students “act as if” they were someone else - Students “act as if” they were a well-known person - Students act as themselves in a given situation
  • 50. “I know, let’s try role reversal. I’ll go on and on and on about my miserable life and we’ll see how you like it.”
  • 51. Help learners identify their own preferred styles and strategies
  • 52. Taken from Connect Second Ed by Richards, Barbisan and Sandy
  • 53. Conclusions: In effect, successful or expert or intelligent learners have learned acquired knowledge about learning and the attitudes that enable them to use this knowledge confidently, flexibly, appropriately and independently of a teacher. Therefore, they are autonomous. Wendend 1991
  • 54. References • Griffiths, C. – ed – (2008) Lessons from Good Language Learners Cambridge University Press • Wenden, A. (1991) Learner Strategies for Learner Autonomy. London: Prentice Hall International. • White, C. (2003) Language Learning in Distance Education Cambridge University Press • Woodward, T. (2009) I think, therefore I learn 5 ETProfessional, 62:18-19 May