The Autonomy Approach

Language learning in the classroom and beyond

  • Book
The Autonomy Approach Cover

Key features

From the multi-award-winning Delta Teacher Development Series.

The Autonomy Approach presents an important departure from the theoretical discussions which underpin the majority of work on learner autonomy. It introduces a practical perspective to self-directed language learning (teachable-learnable activities rooted in principles of learning), which draws on aspects of study skills and strategies as well as a variety of approaches, namely differentiated, individualised, self-directed, self-access and open-access learning.

With the autonomy approach, emphasis is placed on the support offered to learners within the classroom to help them effectively self-direct their own learning, beyond the classroom.  The authors examine and explain the theory behind metacognitive knowledge and skills (the roots of successful learning-related endeavours), and support this with an extensive sequence of activities for the teacher and the learner to use – to help learners take the development of their language learning into their own hands. The activities in this book aim not to teach a language but rather, are focused on establishing within learners an awareness of the principle components involved in learning an additional language. These activities are meant to encourage learners (and teachers) to share, select and try out new ways of learning and to reflect on the effectiveness of what they have tried. Finally, the activities are suitable for developing a comprehensive self-directed language learning syllabus or for supplementing an existing course.

This book is intended for:

  • Language teachers and learning advisors.
  • Trainers involved in professional development.
  • Materials developers for self-access centres or distance education.
  • Language curriculum designers

The Autonomy Approach contains three distinctive parts which focus in turn on theory, practice and development:

Part A offers a detailed breakdown of the philosophy behind the Autonomy Approach. Clear rationales are established for promoting self-directed language learning, and teachers are invited to reflect on the benefits of having learners take more responsibility for their own learning.

Part B is packed with step-by-step activities to support learners through the development, implementation and modification of an emerging individualised learning plan.

Part C adds an additional layer of knowledge and includes strategies and resources to develop professional practice for language learning facilitators, promoting the idea that we should strive to learn and grow from our own experiences.

Reviews

This book contains many useful activities.

Pete Sharma

EL Gazette, July 2014 PDF

'The authors of The Autonomy Approach, Morrison and Navarro, present a comprehensive collection of SDLL activities, grounded in theory, written for the experienced and novice teacher. This volume has a dual focus: to support teachers in the transition from student-centred to student-led classroom activities and to support learners in creating their own learning plans and achieving their learning goals, thus becoming 'experts in their own language learning'.'

Jennifer St. John

IATEFL Voices 246, September-October 2015 PDF

Component ISBNs

Book 978-1-909783-05-8

3 responses to The Autonomy Approach

  1. Patsy Abbott-Charles says:

    This book is so timely for a situation I have with a 1 to 1 senior manager English learner. He’s starting a MBA course in May and won’t have time to continue weekly language lessons. But he needs to maintain somehow his skills, early B1, over the next 15 months. I’ve been considering how to “mentor” him and this book seems to give a lot of ideas that could get him through. Can I reserve a copy/buy a copy in advance? I have six weeks to work out how to support him and would be grateful for your response asap. Thanks, Patsy Abbott-Charles

  2. […] The Autonomy Approach presents an important departure from the theoretical discussions which underpin the majority of work on learner autonomy. It introduces a practical perspective to self-directed language learning (teachable-learnable activities rooted in principles of learning), which draws on aspects of study skills and strategies as well as a variety of approaches, namely differentiated, individualised, self-directed, self-access and open-access learning. […]

  3. […] Engage metacognition. In real life, they make choices. In classroom they tend to switch off. Get them to think why are we doing this activity? Often the students go ‘To improve our English, teacher!’ If there’s no reason to do an activity other than ‘because the teacher tell you to’, they won’t apply that outside classroom or make connections between what they do in class and their life. Great references: The Autonomy Approach, […]

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