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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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Preparing Future EFL Teachers to Understand, Develop and Exploit Self-Access through Project Work (Carol J. Everhard)

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Carol J. Everhard

(Formerly Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, School of English, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)

Preparing Future EFL Teachers to Understand, Develop and Exploit Self-Access through Project Work

1.    Introduction

Self-access language learning (SALL) is well-recognised for its contribution to learners’ progress and for promoting responsibility and autonomy among language learners. The autonomy literature is quite rich and informative with regard to SALL, suggesting ways of approaching self-access use (Gardner & Miller, 1999), integrating self-access within a course of learning (Benson, 2001), exploiting materials in self-access with reference to developing or improving particular skills (Sheerin, 1989; Dofs, 2013), advising/counselling learners within the self-access environment (Ludwig & Mynard, 2012; Mynard & Carson, 2012), as well as promoting learner ownership of self-access resources (Malcolm & Majed, 2013). In contrast with this, Gardner & Miller (2013) have pointed to the dearth of informative materials or suitable courses related to self-access management, an occupation which demands a complex and constantly-developing set of skills, yet which commonly fails to be recognised as such in terms of either status or financial compensation within an educational organization (Gardner & Miller, 2014). This lack of professional recognition means that managers of self-access resources often assume such responsibilities more through accident than design, may have to wear the self-access manager’s hat in addition to many other hats, may not have had any training or experience specific to self-access beforehand (Gardner & Miller, 2014) and...

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