Critical reflection and autonomy: a study of distance learners of French, German and Spanish

Murphy, Linda (2005). Critical reflection and autonomy: a study of distance learners of French, German and Spanish. In: Holmberg, Boerje; Shelley, Monica and White, Cynthia eds. Distance education and languages: evolution and change. New perspectives on language and education. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters, pp. 20–39.

URL: http://www.multilingual-matters.com/multi/display....

Abstract

The chapter reports on a study into critical reflection and autonomy among distance language learners in 17 Open University tutor groups. Despite recognition of the importance of critical reflection in learning in general and in autonomous language learning, these issues have not previously been explored from the perspective of distance language learners. The study adopted an exploratory-interpretative approach triangulating data from several sources within a theoretical framework drawing on both generic learning and language acquisition research. 100 students worked on designated tasks to encourage critical reflection; 130 completed a questionnaire and 32 took part in semi-structured interviews, including users of the task materials and a control group of non-users. The findings provide insights into ways in which course designers and tutors can support distance language learners in developing capacities for critical reflection and autonomy.

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