By Carol J. Everhard, Linda Murphy (eds.)
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Additional resources for Assessment and Autonomy in Language Learning
Additionally, this idea of testing autonomy seems to resonate with what Breen and Mann (1997) refer to as the ‘mask of autonomous behaviour’: Learners will generally seek to please me as the teacher. If I ask them to manifest behaviours that they think I perceive as the exercise of autonomy, they will gradually discover what these behaviours are and will subsequently reveal them back to me. Put simply, learners will give up their autonomy to put on the mask of autonomous behaviour. (Breen & Mann, 1997, p.
1–2). Kohonen believes that learning should be experiential (1990, 1992, 2001) and that language learning and teaching should form part of a wider initiative, which he refers to as ‘learner education’. Such an approach to education lays emphasis on reflection, interaction and self-assessment, which will enable the learners to set their own goals and be autonomous, take initiative, be responsible and therefore personally engage with learning. Such learning necessarily becomes more meaningful since it aims to involve the whole person by taking into account social, affective and cognitive factors.
14) shows clearly that he sees autonomy as being on a continuum, where there is the possibility of progression, regression, oscillation and fluctuation between a range of possibilities with regard to method, pace, materials, time and place, but most importantly, monitoring, internal assessment (by the self) and external assessment (by others). Dickinson sees autonomy as ‘an attitude towards learning’, which shows a capacity (my emphasis) for ‘independent learning’ (1987, p. 166), but in order for this attitude and capacity to be developed, learners have to be able to judge the degree of success of their learning (self-assessment) and they have to be capable of making decisions about their learning (monitoring) (1987, p.
Assessment and Autonomy in Language Learning by Carol J. Everhard, Linda Murphy (eds.)