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Education Literature Alerts: Jan. & Feb. '18 - Learner Autonomy

Items of interest from VCC Library

Education Literature Alerts

Recommended Book & Monographs

Dincer, A., Yesilyurt, S., & Goksu, A. (2010). Practical tips on how to promote learner autonomy in foreign language classrooms. In Proceedings of the 10th International Language, Literature, and Stylistics Symposium. Paper presented at the 10th International Language, Literature and Stylistics Symposium, Ankara, Turkey, 2010, November 3-5 (pp. 428-433).

"This study is a literature review on autonomy-supportive language environments and teachers. By considering the related studies and comparing the features of autonomy-supportive and controlling language teaching atmospheres, and looking from the perspective of Self- Determination Theory, a modern motivation theory, the review aims to give some practical tips on how to promote learner autonomy and overcome learner reticence in foreign language classroom." [Abstract excerpt from the authors]


Jiménez Raya, M., & Vieira, F. (2015). Enhancing autonomy in language education : a case-based approach to teacher and learner development. Boston, Massachusetts: De Gruyter Mouton. [Ebook]

"The book explores the idea that pedagogy for autonomy requires the integration of teacher and learner development and can be enhanced through a case-based approach in teacher education. " [Introduction excerpt from the publisher]


Lyddon, P. (2016). Mobile-assisted language learning and language learner autonomy. In S. Papadima-Sophocleous, L. Bradley & S. Thouësny (Eds.), CALL Communities and Culture – Short Papers From EUROCALL 2016.  Paper presented at the EUROCALL 2016 Conference, Limassol, Cyprus, 24-27 August (pp. 302-306). Dublin:

"This paper highlights the differing constraints on learner autonomy in formal and informal learning environments. It then proposes an approach to encouraging greater demonstration of autonomy through an explicit linking of institutional requirements associated with routine lesson assignments and the achievement of personally meaningful, individually determined learning goals. Finally, it suggests the role that mobile technology can and properly ought to play in capacitating consistently high levels of demonstrated autonomy both inside and outside the classroom." [Abstract excerpt from the author]


Articles of Interest

Benson, P. (2013). Learner autonomy. TESOL Quarterly, 47(4), 839–843.

"Here I want to argue for greater synergy between research on digital literacies and research on autonomy in language learning. On the one hand, there may be a need to reconceptualize our understanding of prevalent modes of autonomous language learning in view of what we know about digital literacies. On the other, the concept of autonomous language learning may have something to contribute to research on digital literacies, which has to date paid little attention to issues of translingual communication." [Introduction excerpt from the author]

Ertürk, N. O. (2016). Language learner autonomy: is it really possible? Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 232(Supplement C), 650–654.

"The reshaping of the traditional spoon-fed students in our culture into learners who take charge of their own learning and the conversion of teachers shifting their responsibility to learners is not an easy process. How ready are our students and teachers for this change? Is resistance inevitable?" [Abstract excerpt from the author]

Lewis, T. (2013). Between the social and the selfish: learner autonomy in online environments. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 7(3), 198–212.

"This paper explores what it means to be an autonomous learner in an online social context. Using distinctions originally drawn by Jürgen Habermas, it argues that classic accounts of learner autonomy as teleological action are inadequate to explain learner activity in group settings." [Abstract excerpt from the author]

Nakata, Y. (2014). Self-regulation: why is it important for promoting learner autonomy in the school context? Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 5(4), 342-356.

This paper compares the roots and the avenues of development of two essentially related yet distinct research areas—self-regulation and learner autonomy—and then attempts to integrate the notion of self-regulation within the theoretical framework of learner autonomy, together with other notions of agency, teacher autonomy and scaffolding. [Abstract excerpt paraphrased]

Pinard, L. 30 things to enhance your teaching – learner autonomy and metacognition. IH Journal, 43, (2017, November).

Pinard points out that there are multiple (sometimes conflicting) definitions of "learner autonomy" and that this divergence is reflected also in language teaching methodologies. The author bases her own approach on a "social constructivist theory of learning  ... which emphasizes the formation of connections between prior experience and new information, achieved through collaboration with others."

Scott, G. W., Fumell, J., Murphy, C. M., & Goulder, R. (2015). Teacher and student perceptions of the development of learner autonomy: a case study in the biological sciences. Studies in Higher Education, 40(6), 945–956.

"Biology teachers in a UK university expressed a majority view that student learning autonomy increases with progression through university. A minority suggested that pre-existing diversity in learning autonomy was more important and that individuals not cohorts differ in their learning autonomy. They suggested that personal experience prior to university and age were important and that mature students are more autonomous than 18-20 year olds. Our application of an autonomous learning scale (ALS) to four year-groups of biology students confirmed that the learning autonomy of students increases through their time at university but not that mature students are necessarily more autonomous than their younger peers." [Abstract excerpt from the authors]

"Students of today are digital natives. They acquire their digital literacy autonomously and are adept at using various Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to enrich their daily leisure life. Although prior research has addressed such phenomenon and its relation to school learning, the focus was mostly on students' adoption of ICT tools to facilitate their learning. This study takes a further step by relating students' digital literacy to their school curriculum and using the pedagogy of negotiated learning to improve their learning autonomy." [Abstract excerpt from the author]

Wachob, P. (2011). Using videos of students in the classroom to enhance learner autonomy. Teaching English with Technology, 11(2), 18–28.

"Although the technology of digital videos is available, many classroom EFL teachers are unsure of what they can do with videos. This paper will present some reasons why teachers should consider using videos of student performance based on ideas of motivation and learner autonomy. Three activities are presented with checklists and protocols that can be implemented in classrooms." [Abstract excerpt from the author]

Videos (not strictly literature, but interesting nonetheless!)

OUP | Rob Lewis, Oxford University Press ELT - Learner Autonomy -  "Autonomy is all about the learner. It is not about studying alone; it is about the learner taking control of their learning, and being responsible for how and what they learn. This might include deciding what areas they need to improve their English, choosing exercises to study and evaluating how they did…"  (8:41)

TED | Sugata Mitra  -  New Experiments in Self Teaching  -  "Indian education scientist Sugata Mitra tackles one of the greatest problems of education -- the best teachers and schools don't exist where they're needed most. In a series of real-life experiments from New Delhi to South Africa to Italy, he gave kids self-supervised access to the web and saw results that could revolutionize how we think about teaching." (17:23)

TEDxFlourCity | Sean Bengry  -  The Revolution of Self-Directed Learning -  "This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Sean speaks on how technology can be used to improve typical lecture style education, and how business can take advantage of this to support the professional development of their employees." (9:00)

TEDxSMU | Jon Stolk  -  Creating Autonomy-supportive Learning Environments -  "Educators talk a lot about learner autonomy, but less so about the conditions that promote learners’ feelings of choice and control. In this talk, Jon Stolk examines how learning environments may be better designed to promote the emergence of confident, agile, self-directed learners." (18:07)

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Alicia Copp
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