Learner autonomy

Authored by: Phil Benson

The Routledge Handbook of English Language Teaching

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415747394
eBook ISBN: 9781315676203
Adobe ISBN: 9781317384472


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Since its introduction into the field of language teaching in the 1970s, interest in learner autonomy has grown rapidly. This chapter outlines the evolution of definitions of autonomy and its history in language teaching research and practice. Issues of particular interest to ELT are highlighted – conceptions of autonomy in the context of the global spread of ELT, relationships between autonomy and the development of identity in language learning, and the status of autonomy in ‘postmethod pedagogies’. The terms of persistent debates on the roles of teaching, assessment and individuality are also discussed.

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