Edited By Manuel Jiménez Raya and Lies Sercu
Adri Elsen and Oliver St.-John: Learner autonomy and intercultural competence
Learner autonomy and intercultural competence O. Introduction Adri E lsen, Radboud Univers ity Nijmegen O l iver St. lohn, University of Gävle This chapter aims to define the two central constructs of this book, namely 'Iearner autonomy' and ' intercultural competence ' . It consists of five sections . Sections 1 and 2 focus on learner autonomy (LA). The first section seeks to de fine LA by tracing the way the construct has come to be understood, while the second discusses three main reasons why LA is considered important in foreign language (FL) learning settings . Sections 3 and 4 deal with the 'what' and 'why' of intercultural competence (IC). What does the term mean and why is intercultural learning prominent among the teaching goals of many national FL syl labuses today? The final section seeks to outl ine a pedagogical framework for developing LA and IC based on the preceding discuss ion and research work in the field . AIthough the pedagogical ideas presented in th is section give more fo cus to IC, it is argued that learn ing processes towards both capacities not only complement each other close ly, but require each other 's aid for successful devel opment. 1. What is learner autonomy? Defining ' Iearner autonomy' is no easy matter. When foreign language learners, teachers, teacher educators or researchers are asked what learner autonomy is, one is l ikely to get a variety of response . Some answers might echo aspects such as the "abi l ity to take...
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