David Little: Issues in Learner Autonomy (TESOLacademic.org)


by Jürgen Kurtz, Karlsruhe University of Education, Germany

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) academic is a knowledge dissemination site which links the work of TESOL-based academics to teachers, teacher-trainers, teacher-trainees, decision-makers and other researchers. Edited by Huw Jarvis, it provides a global forum for people to talk about how their published research, or an aspect of it, impacts on language pedagogy. TESOLacademics.org only posts talks about research which have gone through the peer review process and this ‘guarantees’ the quality of the submissions. 

In the following video, David Little focuses on some fundamental issues in learner autonomy (click on image to view):

2 responses to “David Little: Issues in Learner Autonomy (TESOLacademic.org)

  1. Oh my, I’m exactly on the brink of jumping into an “autonomous learner” centered classroom with my high school students, knowing full well that this is a giant step forward to engaging them more fully and effectively in the language—but my district requires benchmark testing (every teacher of level 2 Spanish MUST give the same exam every 9 weeks) and strict adherence to a very specific curriculum. I cannot support/develop/allow creativity in my students when they must learn a predetermined vocabulary. Frustration!

    • I agree that it has become very difficult/almost impossible to balance out process- and product-orientation in the Age of Accountability (see also 1 and 2). As I see it, the current scientific discussion on enhancing learner autonomy in foreign language classrooms is ivory-towerish to a certain degree, marked by a clearly visible lack of concern with or interest in the nitty-gritty of everyday instruction in school contexts (including vocabulary instruction).

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