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Making the most of others: autonomous interdependence in adult beginner distance language learners

Furnborough, Concha (2012). Making the most of others: autonomous interdependence in adult beginner distance language learners. Distance Education, 33(1) pp. 99–116.

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Autonomy in language learning does not simply equate with independence, as language learning is a social activity that requires interaction with others. This also applies just as much to distance language learners, who need to reconcile independent language learning and interdependence with others. This article draws on findings from 43 mid-course interviews with adult beginner distance learners of French, Spanish, and German, and focuses on ways in which they engage with tutors and with other students, and the extent to which these interactions enhance their learning. It shows that many students are prepared to seek clarification from their tutors, but not strategic advice in areas of learning that are likely to be most problematic. It also highlights how feelings about working with other students can enhance or restrict progress toward autonomous interdependence. Finally, it considers ways for facilitating greater learner control in these key aspects of their studies.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2012 Distance Education Journal
ISSN: 1475-0198
Keywords: autonomy; interdependence; collaborative control; adult beginner language learners; distance language learning; anxiety
Academic Unit/Department: Education and Language Studies > Languages
Education and Language Studies
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Language & Literacies
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Item ID: 32682
Depositing User: Concha Furnborough
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2012 12:14
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2016 02:43
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