Developing learner autonomy 8.18
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Developing learner autonomy 8.18



I developed this presentation for teacher training. The audiences have been varied but mostly to teachers for whom the ideas of learner autonomy are either new or seem unrealistic. ...

I developed this presentation for teacher training. The audiences have been varied but mostly to teachers for whom the ideas of learner autonomy are either new or seem unrealistic.

The aim is to give them some background and then show how to start at ground zero. Every little helps.



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  • Classroom English: If learners know how to ask questions and can tell you when they don’t understand, then you have made the very first step to making them responsible for their own learning.Share information: What the course is, what they have to achieve, timescales, what the exam will be about, study skills, rules. Strengths and Weaknesses: Tell them it is their responsibility to learn – you (the teacher) and the course book are there to support their learning but they have to active participants. They have to make time to review / revise / learn.Study skills – suggest different ways to study. Make sure they know they are all different – if one student find it easy to learn vocabulary, it doesn’t mean the others are stupid, they have to develop their own strategies for learning. The teacher facilitates that learning by giving learners ideas about how to learn.Most of the adult learners in my classes have jobs, families and are studying for a master’s. They also have to make time for English. I encourage them to spend a short time every day (if possible) on their English study. 10-15 minutes everyday is better than an hour once a week. Listening to English radio / TV / films / podcasts is a great way to improve listening skills even if you don’t understand much for the first few months. Your ‘ear’ will tune-in eventually. Suggest learners find a study partner or someone you can practice speaking English with . This can be a classmate, another student learning English, a child in the family, anyone that can speak some English. It does not need to be a native speaker. With a study partner,

Developing learner autonomy 8.18 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Developing Learner Autonomy
    Learners doing it for themselves
  • 2. Introduction
    Identify what an autonomous learner is:
    good learners / bad learners
    Look at how that affects teaching
    Examine what we can do in the classroom to develop and encourage learning
  • 3. What about Teacher Autonomy?
    How much opportunity do you have to decide what / how to teach your learners?
    What is your role as a teacher?
  • 4. Good Learners Bad Learners
    Reflect on their learning and make decisions about it
    Take responsibility for their learning and their progress
    Know why they are learning English and try to stay motivated
    Know how to study effectively
    • Blame teachers or the course book for poor results
    • 5. Expect the teacher to be responsible for their learning and their progress
    • 6. May have little enthusiasm for learning English
    • 7. May think they know more than the teacher
    • 8. May not know how to study effectively
  • Adapted from Scharle & Szabo (2005), who adapted it from Brandes & Ginnes (1992)
  • 9. Learning Strategies
    • Cognitive Strategies
    help learners process input, & transform and apply L2 knowledge
    Affective Strategies
    learners create positive attitudes and stay motivated
    Sociocultural-interactive Strategies
    help learners with communication, sociocultural contexts and identity.
  • 10. Meta Strategies
    Meaning of meta:
    (from Greek: μετά = "after", "beyond", "with", "adjacent", "self"), is a prefix used in English (and other Greek-owing languages) to indicate a concept which is an abstraction from another concept, used to complete or add to the latter.
  • 11. A model of metacognition
    Taken from Lessons from Good Language Learners, (2008) p100
  • 12. What you can do in the Classroom
    • Classroom English
    • 13. Share information
    • 14. Ask learners to identify their strengths and weaknesses
    • 15. Tell learners how you see it
    • 16. Take yourself out of the picture
    • 17. Be consistent
  • references
    Scharle & Szabo (2005) Learner autonomy: a guide to developing learner responsibility
    Carole Griffiths Lessons from Good Language Learners (2008)
    Rebecca Oxford Teaching and Researching Language Strategies (2011)
  • 18. Teachers Say:
    My students are lazy and they never do their homework.
    They never remember anything I teach them!
    We did the present perfect last week but they got it wrong today.
    I tell them to study hard but they don’t care. I’ll have to give them more tests.