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Language, Individual & Society, Volume 8, 2014

Ann M. Seppänen
Pages: 1-15
Published: 25 Aug 2014
Views: 2,741
Downloads: 1,294
Abstract: This article presents work in progress on developing an approach to cultivating learner autonomy. The learners concerned are undergraduate students on an advanced English course at Tampere University of Applied Sciences in Finland. About half of the students are Finnish; the others represent nine other nationalities and mother-tongues. The students are working towards a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering; the language of teaching and learning on this degree programme is English. Such students might be assumed to have a strong self-interest in developing their English skills. However, external motivation to develop language proficiency is an insufficient condition for adopting autonomous language-learning behaviours. The approach presented here is based on the premise that teachers and peers can assist the learning-to-learn process for individual students. The roles and responsibilities of the different parties (individual learners, peers and teacher) are explored. The limitations, particularly the difficulty of achieving measurable outcomes, are also considered.
Keywords: language learning, learner autonomy, learning-to-learn, undergraduate, peer group, roles, autonomous learner behaviour, motivation
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