Publication details

Non-Language Impact of Autonomy Support in ELT



Year of publication 2016
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Language Centre

Description Learner´s autonomy is usually suppressed at schools and that is why the students who come to university often do not know how to be autonomous. All this despite the fact that before the institutionalized education it is natural for us to accept the responsibility for our learning and to be in charge of the learning process. The English Autonomously course (EA) gives the students a scaffolding that helps them rediscover the autonomous way of learning. The students learn English not from the textbooks and regular seminars led by the teachers but from their exposure to lots of stimuli. These enhance their learning of English as a foreign language as well as other skills that develop via English that becomes a tool for reflecting and developing the students in various aspects. This presentation aims to introduce the framework of EA and its theoretical background as well as illustrate the impact of autonomy support that the students reflect on most frequently. Their progress is significantly reported, apart from the language skills, in the area of soft skills, metacognition and attitudes. Thanks to instant reflective practice from the beginning of the course and thanks to individualised content that the students choose themselves, they are more engaged and motivated to work harder. The data presented in the paper were collected in the EA course and show a wide range of students´ reflections and two inventories that cover the use of language learning strategies and metacognition awareness before and after the course in which the students foster autonomy. The self-evaluation and self-reflection that the students do in order to identify their needs and plan their studies are not only instruments for research but also tools for students´ learning. Even though students come to the seminars to learn a foreign language, they eventually discover changes in their attitudes, shifts in their mindsets and increased self-awareness. In this sense, we are enriching the whole student.