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Learner Autonomy in Language Learning: Defining the Field and Effecting Change


Edited By Sara Cotterall and David A. Crabbe

This book is a collection of papers that explores the notion of learner autonomy and the problem of helping language learners to manage their learning effectively. The first part of the book deals with issues of definition: what is the cognitive base for autonomous learning behaviour and how is this mediated by social and cultural expectations of a learner's role? The second part reports on experiences of working with learners and with teachers to promote learner autonomy. In working with learners, the focus is on language learning strategies and how strategic learning might be developed through strategy training, materials design, reflection and counselling. In working with teachers, the focus is on bringing about change in traditional perspectives on the roles of learners and teachers within education systems.


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Preface ix


PREFACE This publication is the outcome of a Symposium on Leamer Autonomy held at the AILA World Congress in JyvaskyHi, Finland in August 1996. The papers were written by presenters at the Symposium and have been developed into a collection that ranges across the diversity of thought and action that is subsumed under the name ofleamer autonomy. We have divided the collection into two parts. The first section is concerned with definitional issues, an inevitable focus when dealing with a broad concept like Ieamer autonomy that takes on different emphases in different contexts. The second section includes reports of attempts to effect change in Ieamer and teacher roles in the task of language learning. We have arranged the papers according to whether they report on working with groups of learners, with individual learners, or with teachers. Although all the papers are directed towards a common goal of enabling learners to make their own learning decisions, again, there are strong contextual influences here and we are pleased that the collection includes papers from Europe, Asia, North and South America and New Zealand. We thank the contributors for their original work and for their patience in waiting for this collection to be published. We would also like to thank Karen Kleppin and Isa Winkler for earlier work on editing and formatting, and finally Udo Jung for including the collection in his Bayreuther Beitrdge zur Glottodidaktik series. Sara Cotterall, David Crabbe, Wellington, January 1999 ix This page intentionally left blank

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