Integrating learning styles awareness in the ELP

Pérez Cavana, Maria (2007). Integrating learning styles awareness in the ELP. In: CercleS Conference, 'The European Language Portfolio: Its role and Potential in University Language Learning', Applied Language Centre, 07-09 Jun 2007, University College, Dublin.



One of the main purposes of the ELP is to promote learner autonomy, that is for students to take responsibility for their own learning. The pedagogical function of the ELP is to develop reflection, planning of individual learning, self-assessment and evaluation. In particular the Language Biography represents this pedagogical aspect of the ELP through the detailed biography, the checklists and the planning instruments.

Within the checklists of skills not related to the CEFR levels, one of the more relevant areas is the ‘learning techniques and strategies’. Some accredited ELPs have introduced questions in the Biography to raise the awareness of the learner about how s/he learns, and to reflect upon, in order to help the learner in setting learning targets and in improving learning.

Based on my teaching experience, learners can benefit enormously when they understand the ways in which they learn a language, and when they reflect upon their own method and style. It is well known that there is a range of different learner types, although there are many different versions, and an almost endless amount of research studies, with very little relevance for classroom practice. For these reasons I would like to work out how to integrate a checklist in the Biography, based on some essential learning style categories (e.g. field-dependent, field-independent), to help students through self-observation and reflection towards self-knowledge and autonomy.

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