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Autonomy, Agency and Identity in Foreign Language Learning and Teaching


Jing Huang

This book offers readers a basic grounding in autonomy and related concepts of agency and identity in foreign language education. The ethnographic study explores how autonomy develops within the long-term process of EFL and TEFL learning in a Chinese social and institutional context. Through examining the general characteristics and patterns within the long-term development of autonomy among the students, the enquiry puts under close scrutiny a number of fundamental issues in autonomy research and practice, such as reactive autonomy in relation to proactive autonomy, personal autonomy in relation to learner autonomy, other-control in relation to self-control in the «multi-control model» of autonomy, and also issues of autonomy in the transition from foreign language learning to foreign language teaching. The study presents the more «describable» concepts of identity and agency to investigate the development of autonomy in foreign language learning and teaching and explores their complex interrelationships. The book finally highlights major contributions and limitations of the investigation, and provides implications and suggestions for theory, pedagogy and research.


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Conventions used in the book 11


Conventions used in the book Abbreviations: BAGP BA graduation paper (BA thesis) EFL English as a foreign language EPP “English for practical purposes” ESL English as a second language FLS Foreign Language School of the university (LU) FT Fieldwork trip Kaoyan Chinese pinyin for (taking) the postgraduate entrance ex- amination LU Pseudonym of the university under investigation TEFL The teaching of English as a foreign language ® The researcher in data extracts TEM-4 Test for English majors, Band-4 TEM-8 Test for English majors, Band-8 TP Teaching practicum Quotations and numbering: Double quotation marks are used. Data extracts are numbered consec- utively only within a single chapter of the four data-analysis chapters (4-7), but not across these chapters. Gender of generic pronouns: As mentioned in Chapter 3 (3.6.3), pseudonyms (Chinese pinyin ini- tials) for Chinese and foreign teachers start with respectively letters “C” and “F”. In any reference to an individual teacher in data extracts and related discussion, “he/she”, “his/her” and “him/her” are used be- cause the number of faculty members was relatively small and they might be identifiable in some way by gender.

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