Autonomous distance language learning: supporting critical reflection, interaction and decision-making.
In: Independent Language Learning Association 2007 Japan Conference: Exploring theory, enhancing practice: Autonomy across the disciplines, 05-08 Oct 2007, Kanda University, Chiba, Japan.
Language teaching researchers highlight the role of critical reflection, interaction and decision-making in the process of ‘autonomisation’ where learners experience autonomy in order to become more autonomous (Little, 2003). Distance educators have long been concerned to develop learners’ capacity to take decisions and control their own learning in a context where course materials have to anticipate a wide variety of potential learning needs and cater for students working in isolation. More recently, interaction has taken an increasingly significant role in distance education, aided by technological developments.
This paper examines the experience of the Open University (UK) Department of Languages in responding to the challenges of ‘autonomisation’ in distance education courses for adult learners of French, German and Spanish, and considers the issues which still need to be addressed by course writers and researchers.
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