CMC Forum

General Topics => CMC and Optimal Language Learning Environments => Topic started by: jinongster on January 30, 2006, 09:55:13 AM

Title: Learner autonomy is supported
Post by: jinongster on January 30, 2006, 09:55:13 AM
The authors emphasize the importance of learner-centeredness, and the teachers role as a person who provides guidance in activities (and language) and challenge students' thinking.

However, I don't see any direct relationship between the CMC environment and the learner autonomy. That is, the elements that the authors are emphasizing can be implemented in any kinds of non-CMC classes. Although a large body of CMC literature argue that CMC environment can generate more student talk, more discussion, and more student-centeredness, it doesn't necessarily be a CMC environment in order to implement the chracteristics that the authors are highlighting.

The direct relationship between issues of autonomy and the CALL environment is not directly discussed in this particular part of the article. (The authors say that this specific relationship will be discussed in a later chapter). We may be able to see how CMC environment can promote learner autonomy when we get to that chapter. But at this point, I'm rather not so sure if CMC can better promote learner autonomy than the non-CMC counterpart.   ::)
Title: Re: Learner autonomy is supported
Post by: Lisa on January 30, 2006, 10:03:35 AM
Yep-that's what I thought too.  CMC is a valid way to support learner autonomy, but it surely isn't the only way.  Moreover there is really no way to force learner autonomy, regardless of the method, if the learner is a lazy bum  ;D
Title: Re: Learner autonomy is supported
Post by: shanson1 on January 30, 2006, 10:18:48 AM
However, CMC offers a TON of options for learners to take it upon themselves to learn more and practice more.  There are so many websites and blogs and chatting programs out there that motivated learners who want more practice on their own can find a lot of resources.  They can explore their own interests, set their own agenda and do any of this in their free time as it fits their schedule.  This definitely encourages learner autonomy.
Title: Re: Learner autonomy is supported
Post by: dr7710 on January 30, 2006, 10:35:04 AM
Yes, I like Shanson1' s idea. By the way, I am just wondering what the ESL teachers'r role will be then? I feel like they are almost useless. I am afraid I may lose my job sooner.
Title: Re: Learner autonomy is supported
Post by: chau2 on January 30, 2006, 01:25:25 PM
I personally accept that CMC in deed familarizes learners with independent learning environment, in which later they, exactly, become autonomous learners because learners have enough times to explore what they want to know and use whatever words they want to use in their communication. However, it is not the matter of CMC learning or teaching but the learners, themselves. If they have low motivation, attitude towards exploring some new from the orther places, they cannot become independent learners although they are heavily instructed by CMC. I am not sure if I am right.  ??? ??? ???   
Title: Re: Learner autonomy is supported
Post by: Mete on February 11, 2006, 10:27:21 AM
CMC does provide user autonomy, since generally students use the computers on their own when they are on task. However, how much autonomy is neccessary is the question? or By autonomy do we really undermine the role of teacher. I want to answer Paul's question about the role of teachers in the places where autonomy is enforced. In these cases, the tasks should be in such a way that they need to check in with the teacher, or the students need to be guided by the teacher.

Autonomy is   important since learning lasts longer in the case of self learning, and through CMC the students can get knowledge autonomously.
Title: Re: Learner autonomy is supported
Post by: baburhan on February 12, 2006, 09:02:41 AM
I agree with most of the statements and with that of Thein (1994) which proposes that a learner centered classroom as one that develops confidence and skills to learn autonomus ly. Relying on my teaching experience at a private university I could suggest that classroom teaching might not be a perfect place for achieving learner autonomy.

 On the other hand, through CMC the learner is completely independent and can set his/her own objectives and goals, and accordingly might develop his/her own way to achieve these goals. As for my case, I observe that my students are accostumed to and even addicted to preset objectives, preset text book, preset worksheets and other stuff which were preset by the teacher or the administration. Longman, McMillan or Oxford send everything to teach reducing the autonomy of the teacher and the learner. I imagine soon, they will send the instructor as well  ;D ;D ;D 

Depending my own personan observation, classroom teaching might not be a good place for learner autonomy; however, via CMC learners with free minds and independent objectives might be achieved soon  ;) ;) ;)
Title: Re: Learner autonomy is supported
Post by: Pelin on February 12, 2006, 04:01:37 PM

I think Shanson1 is right by saying that CMC offers tons of settings for learner autonomy. The activities and whatever a learner does individually in a CMC setting help the learner keep learner autonomy.

Also, in the article Thein (1994) describes a learner-centered classroom as the one in which learners have the autonomy in learning. Therefore, autonomy can be a sign of a learner-centered classroom setting. A teacher's role is to guide the students and foster the learning process by determining the boundaries. In my opinion, learner autonomy is really important and should always be supported. Students should plan their own learning and in that way, they progress more consciously in their process of learning.   

As a reply to Baburhan's post, I would like to say that we should try to make use of CMC settings to create learners autonomy as much as we can for our students even if we can not achieve it completely during our classes on account of preset programmes and courses.

Title: Re: Learner autonomy is supported
Post by: elcin on February 12, 2006, 05:20:57 PM
First as a reply to Paul’s worry about teachers’ being useless and losing their jobs, I have a question : How will students learn to gain autonomy in learning the target language even in a CMC environment without the help of a guide who will answer their personal and various questions abut how to control their way of learning ? My view is that a computer can never replace a teacher totally, because the students need to learn from someone how to make best use of that computer for communication.

On the other hand, I am in favor of Thein’s (1994) description of “a learner centered classroom” which will help the learnes to become more independent and peculiar to themselves.

In Turkey, students in most of the state schools lack the ability to set their own goals and walk on the road they choose decisively, that is, they do not have enough autonomy because of the remaining traces of authoritative teaching which enhaces memorization (maybe due to the effects of Audiolingual Method). However, this is changing nowadays because the new generation teachers know that their duty is to encourage the students to think critically rather than to teach them to be “parrots”. CMC is of great value to prevent the students from being parrots as it requires the individual to explore his/her needs on his/her ownin order to communicate in an authentic environment better.
Title: Re: Learner autonomy is supported
Post by: Ali Fuad on February 13, 2006, 06:26:40 PM
Yes, I like Shanson1' s idea. By the way, I am just wondering what the ESL teachers'r role will be then? I feel like they are almost useless. I am afraid I may lose my job sooner.

I would rather asked from one of good old friend to have a reply for Paul's question:

"Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in the lack of understanding, but in the lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. Have courage to use your own understanding! "
- Immanuel Kant
Title: Re: Learner autonomy is supported
Post by: banu on March 05, 2006, 09:05:37 AM

In my opinion, autonomy is not something that can be kicked completely out of the class when we,as teachers, want it to be so. I mean, every learning requires though, a little bit autonomy.Learner autonomy is at stage even when learners are eager to listen to a language lesson. You also need to encourage learner autonomy when you want your students to read the chapters given as HW. Learning occurs when learners want to learn and "learner autonomy" is another name of "learner's wish to learn".

However, in CMC learning, learners need more learner autonomy or wish to learn...and It is teacher's duty to motivate students to learn.