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Learner and Teacher Autonomy in Higher Education: Perspectives from Modern Language Teaching

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Edited By Manuel Jiménez Raya, José Javier Martos Ramos and Maria Giovanna Tassinari

This volume seeks to foster the development of teacher and learner autonomy in language learning in higher education. It pools the insights and experiences of a group of international researchers who present their reflections and research on different aspects of autonomy and related issues. Although autonomy is acknowledged as one of the main goals of education, in higher education the need for accountability and standardisation of learning outcomes may constitute external limitations to its development. In order to overcome teaching traditions and mainstream academic culture, teachers may need to reorient themselves and face the challenge of a substantial change involving their own and their learners’ beliefs, their practice and their role in the institution.

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Autonomy and Affect in Language Learning: A Dynamic Relationship (Jane Arnold & M. Carmen Fonseca-Mora)

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Jane Arnold

(University of Seville, Spain)

M. Carmen Fonseca-Mora

(University of Huelva, Spain)

Autonomy and Affect in Language Learning: A Dynamic Relationship1

1.    Introduction

There are major changes in education expected throughout the 21st century. One of these undoubtedly is the rejection of the concept of the teacher as the all-controlling figure in the learning process. At the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) 2014, the vision of what experts from around the world see as the future of schools in 2030 includes the following:

No more “teachers”, lectures or imposed curricula: […] school will no longer be a place where students are taught theoretical knowledge but instead a social environment where they receive guidance, enabling them to interact with their peers and build a diverse toolkit that will better prepare them for professional life. Innovation, not only technological but also social and pedagogical, will help transform the traditional “classrooms” into future “meeting rooms” where cooperative learning takes place and students prepare for their working future. (WISE, 2014: 1)

In this context, a main concern is autonomy. And this will be even of greater relevance when HE is considered where teachers receive their initial training, since “the role of teachers will shift toward guiding students along their autonomous learning paths” (WISE, 2014: 2).

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