A GUIDE TO LEARNER AUTONOMY
What is learner autonomy?
Autonomy, as I have stated before in previous works, is the ability to self-learn and self-direct.In this specific handbook it is said that in a sense every learner is autonomous to some extent, that, I consider, is true, because we all figure things out for ourselves and become successful as wetry and try things out. Most learners achieve more and more autonomy as they become responsible for their actions, and our job as teachers is to support learners and provide them with the necessarytools for this responsibility and achievement to take place.
Why do we want students to be more autonomous?
The majority of the learning process, whatever the subject, and specially a language takesplace outside a classroom and this is why we need to encourage our students to not be dependent on us and to have the ability to learn, investigate and help themselves for both educational andpractical reasons.
As teachers we have to participate in the process of maturity of students, this will be achieved by practicing the skills of: decision-making, self-discipline,self-help and co-operation and by providing them with choices to grow into educated adults. If we let our students get involved in the learning process we could obtain better results as we encourage themto practice a second language outside the classroom and without supervision.
We have to pay attention to the ways in which we help them (letting them work on their own, correcting themselves andothers and trying things for themselves) as well as their learning styles and preferences since this will be the base for their confidence and success in language learning and practice.
Motivation plays ahighly important role as well in the process to becoming an autonomous learner since is the engine that starts the involvement in the learning process. The initial motivation can or cannot be...