Reflections on the What of Learner Autonomy

Masoud Zoghi, Hamid Nezhad Dehghan

Abstract


The critical role of the learner in the language learning process has been stressed within recent approaches in the humanities and language studies. For this reason the term learner autonomy is now a very fashionable word in the fields of language learning and teaching. On a general note, there are two dominant approaches to knowledge and learning, each of which adopts a different stance on learner autonomy. These two opposing camps are usually referred to as positivism and constructivism. Although learner autonomy is welcomed by many educators, there is not a broad consensus of opinion on its definition. In this article attempts have been made to show that learner autonomy is a dual conceptualization which incorporates the notions of dependence and independence. The ideology driving the view of learner autonomy presented here has been that learner autonomy should be achieved through the tenets of the scaffolding theory proposed by Bruner (1988). Additionally, the authors will highlight the factors involved in building up autonomy in students. It is hoped that the way we go about dealing with this concept may shed some light on the labyrinth that we are all in, namely the field of ELT.


Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/ijel.v2n3p22

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)

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