2nd Edition

Teaching and Researching: Autonomy in Language Learning

ISBN 9781408205013
Published February 10, 2011 by Routledge
296 Pages

USD $51.95

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Book Description

Autonomy has become a keyword of language policy in education systems around the world, as the importance of independent learning and new technologies has grown.

Now in a fully revised and updated second edition, Teaching and Researching Autonomy provides an accessible and comprehensive critical account of the theory and practice of autonomy. Examining the history of the concept, it addresses important questions of how we can identify autonomy in language learning behaviours and how we can evaluate the wide variety of educational practices that have been designed to foster autonomy in learning.

Topics new to this edition include:

- Autonomy and new technologies

- Teacher autonomy

- The sociocultural implications of autonomy

With over three hundred new references and five new case studies of research on autonomy providing practical advice on research methods and topics in the field, Teaching and Researching Autonomy will be an essential introduction for teachers and students to a subject at the cutting edge of language teaching and research.

Table of Contents

General Editors’ Preface

  Author’s Acknowledgements


Section I: What is autonomy

   1   The history of autonomy in language learning

   1.1   Origins of the concept

   1.2   Autonomy and self-access

   1.3   Autonomy and learner training

   1.4   Autonomy and individualisation

   1.5   Autonomy and interdependence

   1.6   Why autonomy? Why now?

   1.7   The two faces of autonomy

   2   Autonomy beyond the field of language education

   2.1   Educational reform

   2.2   Adult education

   2.3   The psychology of learning

   2.4   The philosophy of personal autonomy

   2.5   Autonomy in language learning and its sources   


   3   Defining and describing autonomy

   3.1   Dimensions of autonomy

   3.2   Versions of autonomy

   3.3   Measuring autonomy

   3.4   Autonomy and culture  


   4   Control as a natural attribute of learning

   4.1   Self-management in learning

   4.2   Learner agendas in the classroom

   4.3   Control of psychological factors influencing learning

   4.4   The seeds of autonomy

   5   Dimensions of control

   5.1   Control over learning management

   5.2   Control over cognitive processing

   5.3   Control over learning content

 5.4 Describing the autonomous learner

   6   Conclusion

Section II: Autonomy in practice

   7   Fostering autonomy

   8   Resource-based approaches

   8.1   Self-access

   8.2   Tandem learning

   8.3   Distance learning

   8.4   Self-instruction

   8.5   Out-of-class learning

   8.6   The effectiveness of resource-based learning

   9   Technology-based approaches

   9.1   Computer-assisted language learning

   9.2   The Internet

   9.3   The effectiveness of technology-based approaches

10   Learner-based approaches

10.1   Learner development and language learning

10.2   Learner development and autonomy

10.3   The effectiveness of learner-based approaches

11   Classroom-based approaches

11.1   Planning classroom learning

11.2   Evaluating classroom learning

11.3   The nature of control in the classroom

11.4   The effectiveness of classroom-based approaches

12   Curriculum-based approaches

12.1   The process syllabus

12.2   Examples of curriculum-based approaches

12.3   The effectiveness of curriculum-based approaches

13   Teacher-based approaches

13.1   Teacher roles

13.2   Teacher autonomy

13.3   Language advising

13.4 Teacher education

13.5 The effectiveness of teacher-based approaches

14   Conclusion

Section III: Researching Autonomy

15   Research methods and key areas of research

15.1   Teachers’ research

15.2   Key areas of research

16   Case studies

16.1   Case study 1. Out-of-class learning

16.2   Case study 2. Self-organised language learning

16.3   Case study 3. The discourse of language advising

16.4   Case study 4. Self-directed learning in the classroom

16.5   Case study 5. Language acquisition in autonomous classrooms

16.6   Case study 6. What do good independent learners do?

17   Conclusion

Section IV: Resources

18   Resources for research and practice

18.1   Books, journals and newsletters

18.2   Conferences and workshops

18.3   Professional associations

18.4   E-mail lists

18.5   Web sites

18.6   Bibliographies

18.7   Self-access centres



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Phil Benson is a Professor in the Department of English at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. He has published widely on autonomy and narrative research and is now pursuing interests in second language identities and popular culture and education.


"This book deserves close reading by anyone who is interested in helping language learners develop themselves."

- The ELT Journal