Essay On Autonomous Learning

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Theoretical aspects of autonomous learning Many different researchers (Holec, 1981; Riley, 1985; Dam, 1995; Little, 1991) have provided definitions as to what they believe learner autonomy is. Holec (1981) defines it as "the ability to take charge of one’s own learning." Higgs (1988) regards it as a process, “... in which the learner works on a learning task or activity and is largely independent of the teacher who acts as manager of the learning programme and as resource person”. Wenden (1991), however, thinks of it as skills and describes autonomous learners as those “...who have acquired the learning strategies, the knowledge about learning, and the attitudes that enable them to use these skills and knowledge confidently, flexibly, appropriately and independently of a teacher”. Penaflorida (2002) describes autonomy for the language learner as, “a process that enables learners to recognize and assess their own needs, to choose and apply their own learning strategies or styles eventually leading to the effective management of learning.” Thang (2009) states ‘autonomy in language learning is mainly concerned with strategies and techniques for learning a language in the absence of a teacher’. The CIEL Handbook (2000) states that learner autonomy indicates a number of dimensions in which learners move away from dependence on the teacher and: - take responsibility for their own learning and learn to learn; - develop key transferable skills (e.g. study, time-management, IT, interpersonal skills etc.); - actively manage their learning; seek out the learn opportunities and use appropriate learning strategies; - involve themselves in an interactive process in which they set short and long term learning object... ... middle of paper ... ...vice or praise…When in difficulty or in doubt, they do ask the teacher for help or advice but only after they have tried to solve the problem among themselves. The emphasis is on working together, in pairs, in groups and as a wholeclass. Their teacher helps them to develop their language skills (Jones,2007) Learner autonomy is important because reflective engagement (from the students) should help to make what they learn a fully integrated part of what they are, so that they can use the knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom in the world beyond.(Little, 2000) Providing students with the ability to be autonomous enables them to continue learning throughout life independently. An effective teacher will provide situations and motivate her/his students to be this type of learner once the time in her/his classroom has ended.
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