Autonomy in the field of language learning
Wu (2008) states that teachers should cultivate a kind of learner that can continue a Life Long Learning process independently.
Brown (2007, p. 377) states that autonomy is the “individual effort and action through which learners initiate learning, strategic action, problem solving, and the generation of linguistic input”.
Autonomous learning behaviors
Different authors have drawn a set of behaviors that define an autonomous learner (Benson, 2001; Brown, 2007; Dörnyei, 2006; Harmer, 2007):
· An autonomous learner chooses different aspects of the learning process (materials, activities, topics, assignments, etc.).
· An autonomous learner cooperates with the learning process of peers.
· An autonomous learner self-assesses the progress of learning.
· An autonomous learner defines clear learning goals.
· An autonomous learner organizes his/her learning process.
From Dörnyei’s (2006) point of view there are certain strategies that the teacher can adopt to motivate autonomous learning behavior:
- Allow learners real choices about as many aspects of the learning process as possible.
- Hand over functions to the learners for cooperative work.
- Adopt the role of a facilitator.
Online video-making tasks
For the present study, I have decided to use online video-making tasks to motivate young learners for autonomous behavior. The reason for choosing this tool is because learners need opportunities to use technology as a part of their personal development. According to Beatty (2003) children are able to handle technology in ways that amaze their teachers; following Beatty’s view, teachers must allow technology to be a part of the classroom and use it as a way to motivate children towards autonomy.