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Learner Autonomy and Language Awareness

  1. 1. Learner Autonomy & Language Awareness By: Melissa Riddle and Sarah Adelman
  2. 2. Promoting Learner Autonomy <ul><ul><li>“ Learners must no longer sit there and expect to be taught; teachers must no longer stand up there teaching all the time. Teachers have to learn to let go and learners have to learn to take hold” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Brian Page, 1992, p.84 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Psychological Stand Point <ul><li>Cognitive Psychology </li></ul><ul><li>Humanistic Psychology </li></ul><ul><li>Educational Psychology </li></ul>
  4. 4. Learner Autonomy in L2 <ul><li>Self-Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Direction </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Access </li></ul><ul><li>Individualized Instruction </li></ul>
  5. 5. Discussion <ul><li>Focusing on a class you have taught or taken, consider the degree of autonomy exercised by the learners </li></ul><ul><li>Think about factors that might have contributed to total, partial, or no learner control. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Narrow View vs. Broad View <ul><li>Narrow View – chief goal of learner autonomy is to learn to learn </li></ul><ul><li>Broad View- chief goal should be to learn to liberate </li></ul>
  7. 7. Narrow View <ul><li>Enabling learners to learn how to learn </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Primary Focus- learner’s academic achievement through strategic engagement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ ability to take charge of one’s own learning” </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Learner Autonomy <ul><li>What it is.. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a capacity for critical thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Discover learning potential </li></ul><ul><li>Take responsibility for learning </li></ul><ul><li>Face weakness and failure </li></ul><ul><li>Develop Self Control & Self Discipline </li></ul><ul><li>Give up total dependence on teacher </li></ul><ul><li>Understand autonomy is complex </li></ul><ul><li>What it is not… </li></ul><ul><li>Autonomy is not indepence </li></ul><ul><li>Autonomy is not context-free </li></ul><ul><li>Autonomy is not a steady state </li></ul>
  9. 9. Four Processes – Anna Chamot <ul><li>Enable learners to exercises control over learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problem Solving </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluating </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Page 134 </li></ul>
  10. 10. Learning Strategies <ul><li>Taxonomy by Rebecca Oxford </li></ul><ul><li>6 categories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3 direct </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 indirect </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Direct- directly involve target language </li></ul><ul><li>Indirect- support and manage language learning without indirectly involving the target language </li></ul><ul><li>Learner-centered </li></ul>
  11. 11. Discussion <ul><li>In what ways can teachers contribute to the development of learner autonomy? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Learner Training <ul><li>Teachers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiate with learners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share with learners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage discussion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase awareness of alternative strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow learners to form own view </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Counseling and guidance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learners </li></ul><ul><li>Identify learning strategies and styles </li></ul><ul><li>Stretch strategies and styles </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate language performance </li></ul><ul><li>Reach out for opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Seek teacher intervention </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborate with other learners </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities to communicate </li></ul>
  13. 13. Broad View <ul><li>Learn a language as a means to an end, the end being learning to liberate </li></ul><ul><li>Empowers learners to be critical thinkers in order to realize their potential </li></ul><ul><li>Paulo Freire- liberate learning from the constraints of schooling </li></ul><ul><li>Take into account the sociopolitical factors that shape the culture of the L2 classroom. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Meaningful Liberatory Autonomy <ul><li>Encourage learners to assume the role of mini-ethnographers </li></ul><ul><li>Write diaries and journal entries </li></ul><ul><li>Help with the formation of learning communities </li></ul><ul><li>Enable them to think critically </li></ul><ul><li>Provide opportunities to explore unfolding frontiers </li></ul>
  15. 15. Degrees of Autonomy <ul><li>Initial Stage- emphasis on raising the learner’s awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Intermediary Stage- emphasis on allowing the learner to choose from a range of options </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced Stage- emphasis is on learner determination of own goals, task, materials </li></ul>
  16. 16. Closing <ul><li>Academic Autonomy vs. Liberatory Autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Autonomy is COMPLEX </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers let go </li></ul><ul><li>Learners take hold </li></ul>
  17. 17. Fostering Language Awareness <ul><li>Language awareness: “A person’s sensitivity to and conscious awareness of the nature of language and its role in human life” (Kuma 157) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Discussion <ul><li>What role did a teacher (or anybody else) play in promoting your sensitivity to language and its role in life? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Purpose of Language Awareness <ul><li>British educators sought to bridge the gap between primary and secondary level school language expectations, and between first and second language teaching and activities </li></ul><ul><li>It was an attempt to eliminate prejudice and antagonism that are caused by ignorance </li></ul>
  20. 20. Whole Language Approach <ul><ul><li>America’s answer to Language Awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It integrated reading, writing, speaking, and listening to provide a richer language experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It sought to acknowledge linguistic and dialectic variations within languages as well as between them as valid </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Discussion <ul><li>How can we as educators validate and utilize our students’ standard and nonstandard linguistic backgrounds in the classroom? </li></ul>
  22. 22. Teachers and Language Awareness <ul><li>Teachers with a limited knowledge of language functions and characteristics may result in failure to accommodate students’ learning needs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>About Language: Tasks for Teachers of English was published to address this concern </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. LATE <ul><li>Language Awareness in Teacher Education (LATE) is an alternative program designed to deal with teachers’ inadequacies in language awareness </li></ul><ul><li>A successful LATE class should: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take an experimental approach to LA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reject language as a product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Study language critically </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Critical Language Awareness <ul><li>Since LA focuses on details of languages rather than their overall role in life, CLA was developed to focus on that </li></ul><ul><li>English teachers should view themselves as “Language teachers” with no specific tie to the English language, but a devotion to all languages </li></ul>
  25. 25. Discussion <ul><li>How do you feel about the notion that English teachers should consider themselves “Language teachers?” How would this definition change your classroom? </li></ul>
  26. 26. Incorporating CLA into a Second Language Classroom <ul><li>Select textbooks not only for their content, but their ability to challenge students’ intellectual abilities as well </li></ul><ul><li>Utilize open-ended questions and discussions in the classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage discussion of social and cultural topics </li></ul><ul><li>(Kuma 166) </li></ul>
  27. 27. Microstrategies for Fostering Language Awareness <ul><li>Examine register and formality and its effect in language </li></ul><ul><li>Examine doublespeak and its rhetorical effect </li></ul><ul><li>Examine language choice in politics and its effect on speakers and listeners </li></ul><ul><li>(More detail available in Kuma 168-175) </li></ul>
  28. 28. Conclusion <ul><li>Language awareness is not a unit that can be incorporated into a classroom, instead it is a philosophy that must be lived every day. By ensuring that we are aware of the importance of language and its effects on us as listeners, we can help our students learn to harness and understand the power of language. </li></ul>

Notas del editor

  • From a philosophical point of view one of the desirable though not easily achievable, goals of general education has always been to create autonomous individuals who are willing and able to think indepently and act responsibly.
  • Cognitive-learning is very effective if the learner integrates knowledge within a personal framework Humanistic- emphasizes the promotion of learner’ self-esteem through personal ownership of learning Educational- posits a strong connection between learner autonomy and learner motivation
  • Self-Instruction- situations in which learners are working without the direct control of the teacher Self-Direction- situations in which learners accept responsibility for all the decisions concerned with learning but not necessarily for the implementation of those decisions Self- Access- situations In which learners make use of self-access teaching material or instructional technology that is made available to them Individualized Instruction- situations in which the learning process is adapted either by the teacher or by the learner to suit the specific characteristics of an individual learner These terms show there is a varying degree of learner involvement and teacher engagement.
  • Taking Charge= to have and to hold the responsibility for determining learning objectives, defining contents and progressions, selecting methods and techniques to be used, monitoring the procedure of acquisition and finally evaluating what has been acquired.
  • Direct- memory strategies-remembering and retrieving new information cognitive strategies-understanding and producing the language compensation strategies- making do with limited, still-developing proficiency Indirect- metacognitive-coordinating learning process affective strategies- regulating emotions and attitudes social strategies- learning and working with others Page 136 Important to remember there are many individual ways of learning a language successfully and there will be different students who approach language learning differently.
  • Successful learner training includes psychological as well as strategic preparation A crucial task of the teacher wishing to promote learner autonomy is to help learners take responsibility for their learning, and to bring about necessary attitudinal changes in them. Learner training “aims to provide learners with the alternative from which to make informed choices about what, how, why, when, and where they learn.
  • Actively seeking to help learners recognize sociopolitical impediments placed in their paths to progress and by providing them with the intellectual tools necessary to over come them.
  • Investigate and understand how language rules and language use are socially structured About issues that directly engage their sense of who they are and how they relate to the social world Where learners develop into unified socially cohesive mutually supportive groups - In cyberspace, online services,
  • We can’t assume academic autonomy is only for learners of lower proficiency and liberatory autonomy is for learners of higher proficiency. Autonomy is a complex structure that can be understood only through careful study and achieved only through continual struggle. Autonomy requries teachers who are wiling to let go and learners who are willing to take hold.