The conference starts on Friday, June 1st at 2 pm and ends on Saturday, June 2nd at 5.30 pm. There will be a reception at the Town Hall by the Mayor of Graz or one of his representatives for all conference participants on Friday evening, at 7pm.
Below, you find a provisional programme outlining the day and a more detailed programme with the abstracts of all presenters. I would kindly ask the presenters to let me know by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if they are, for whatever reason, unhappy with the slot I attributed to them. Please check the programme again a few days before the conference as I might have added a few changes to comply with the wishes of the presenters.
Programme of the day
Friday, June 1st
Registration: 13.00 – 14.00 at the UZT (Universitätszentrum Theologie), the department of theology in Heinrichstraße 78 in the foyer outside lecture hall 47.01/47.02 on the ground floor, where the conference will be opened and the plenary talks will take place
|14.00 – 14.20||Words of welcome and introduction to the conference|
|14.20 – 15.00||1st plenary speech by David Little, Trinity College, Dublin|
|15.10 – 15.40||Parallel talks|
|15.40 – 16.10||Coffee break|
|16.10 – 16.40||Parallel talks|
|16.50 – 17.30||2nd plenary speech by Leni Dam, LASIG coordinator, Denmark|
|17.30 – 18.00||Q&A with the 2 plenary speakers|
19.00.: Reception by the Mayor of Graz at the Townhall for all conference participants
Saturday, June 2nd
|09.00 – 09.40||3rd plenary speech by Lienhard Legenhausen, University of Münster, Germany|
|09.50 – 10.50||Parallel workshops|
|10.50 – 11.10||Coffee break|
|11.10 – 11.4011.50 – 12.20||Parallel talks Parallel talks|
|12.20 – 14.00||Lunch break (Villa Malwine)|
|14.00 – 14.40||4th plenary speech by Ema Ushioda, University of Warwick, UK|
|14.50 – 15.50||Parallel workshops|
|15.50 – 16.20||Coffee break|
|16.20 – 16.50||Parallel talks|
|17.00 – 17.30||Q&A with the 2 plenary speakers and winding up of the conference|
Friday, June 1st, 2-6pm
Sessions 1.1 – 1.4 (talks); 15.10 – 15.40
1.) Session 1.1. in lecture hall 47.01/47.02 (ground floor in theology building)
Felicity Kjisik and Leena Karlsson, Helsinki University Language Centre, Finland
Autonomous Learning Modules at Helsinki University Language Centre: Key features and research
In 1995 an experiment in autonomous language learning was set up in the Helsinki University Language Centre,Finland. The cornerstones of the system were, firstly, the transparent incorporation of the principles of autonomy through awareness-raising, lengthy reflection and discussion, and, secondly, a support system throughout the learner’s programme, including individual counselling, skills support groups and learning logs/diaries. By now over 3000 students have completed an Autonomous Learning Module and the team of teachers involved as well as the learner feedback on the programme remain as positive as ever. This paper will describe the main features of the ALMS programme and its integrated (action) research approach.
2.) Session 1.2. in seminar room 47.21 (2nd floor in theology building)
Christian Ludwig, University of Duisburg/Essen
What Learner Autonomy can do: the Linguistic Development of Danish Autonomous Learners
This paper aims to present the first results of an ongoing case study conducted at two Danish schools. Adopting a rather diachronic perspective, Learner Autonomy has long been regarded as no suitable framework for foreign language learning and teaching. However, since the 1990s more and more curricula came to include Learner Autonomy and nowadays, it is frequently referred to as one of the ultimate goals of education (Dam, 1995, Benson, 2001, 2009). By reflecting on the first results of a case study I will shed further light on the linguistic development of students in autonomous learning environments.
A special focus of this talk will lie on the productive vocabulary acquired by the students (Legenhausen, 1994). Furthermore, the study also sets off to explore how learners (and teachers) perceive their “autonomous learning environment” and the curricular demands accomplished by the “autonomous teacher”.
3.) Session 1.3. in seminar room 47.22 (2nd floor in theology building)
Tanja Psonder and Gerhild Janser, FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences, Austria
Learner Autonomy and Foreign Language Learning
This abstract briefly outlines the practical approach in guiding adult learners towards a more conscious understanding of their individual learning style and to experience the social dimension of peer evaluation. The approach has been developed based on real experiences within the field of General English and Technical English carried out with Bachelor Degree students of Information Management and Architecture/Civil Engineering faculties of FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences. Based on Fleming’s typology of learner types, the practical examples show a method how to create an appropriate learning environment which addresses and effectively involves a wider audience of students in the English learning classroom. The goal of this approach is to move away from frontal teaching and let students develop their learning material themselves. This process forces the student to expand on their individual learner autonomy as well as providing a real-world scenario for the student to integrate their field-related knowledge with a foreign language.
4.) Session 1.4 in seminar room 29.12 (1st floor in Villa Malwine)
Angelika Rieder-Bünemann, University of Vienna, Austria
E-learning and learner autonomy: potentials and challenges
The concept of e-learning is omnipresent and firmly embedded in (language) teaching practices at Austrian schools and universities today. One justification generally noted in favour of e-learning is that it promotes learner individualisation and autonomy. Taking into account the pedagogic and methodological challenges involved in implementing and integrating e-learning in the language learning context, this paper will explore the potential, as well as possible limitations, of e-learning scenarios for enhancing learner autonomy, by presenting and investigating selected applications from the secondary and tertiary sector. Aspects focused on include the learner perspective, the teacher perspective, as well as the perspective of the e-activities involved and the degrees of autonomy they cater for.
Sessions 2.1 – 2.5 (talks); 16.10 – 16.40
1.) Session 2.1 in lecture hall 47.01/47.02 (ground floor in theology building)
Sarah Mercer, University of Graz, Austria
Learner agency: The power of beliefs and emotions
If a learner wishes to be autonomous, then they first need to hold a sense of agency in respect to contexts and their affordances. Focusing on intrapersonal learner factors, this talk describes the findings from a series of situated, contextualised studies, which indicate the central role played by learners’ beliefs and emotions in generating a sense of agency and willingness and motivation to engage in agentic behaviour. The talk will show how different sets of beliefs (self-beliefs, mindset beliefs, beliefs about contexts and specific beliefs about languages/language learning as a process) and types of emotions can influence the trajectory of a learner’s agency acting as powerful triggers or inhibitors. The presentation will conclude with a consideration and discussion of practical steps we can take in light of these findings as practitioners to promote a facilitating, empowering sense of agency in our learners.
2.) Session 2.2. in seminar room 47.21 (2nd floor in theology building)
Stephen Scott Brewer, Université d’Artois (IUFM Nord-Pas de Calais), France
Problematic beliefs: A challenge for learner autonomy practitioners?
This talk raises a fundamental question about the relationship between learners’ beliefs (tertiary-level non-linguists) and the hopes and aspirations that teachers may have in expecting to promote genuine learner autonomy within the opportunity structures and constraints of their specific teaching contexts. Two types of beliefs are discussed: language learning efficacy beliefs (what students believe about their own abilities and potential as language learners) and language learning epistemic beliefs (what students believe more generally about the nature of language learning and what is possible or not possible to achieve in the domain). Aware of his own qualities and limits (both as teacher and researcher), the author asks if there are conditions in which teachers might be “exonerated” from not mustering the resources and courage to engage in trying to steer their students toward becoming genuinely self-directed, autonomous learners.
3.) Session 2.3. in seminar room 47.22 (2nd floor in theology building)
Dietmar Tatzl, FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences, Austria
This contribution attempts to introduce a systemic view of autonomy. It thus shifts the perspective from learner, learning or teacher autonomy to the role organisations play in the development of autonomy. The author argues that systemic autonomy depends on structures, procedures and regulations that are in force at organisations and that can either hinder or promote autonomy. Like people, organisations can display varying degrees of autonomy, and barriers to autonomy can be inherent in personality types as well as in systems. The author compares his experiences from two different higher-education institutions: as a learner at a university and as a teacher at a university of applied sciences. The observations gained from this comparison suggest that the influence of organisational systems cannot be ignored when expecting autonomy to unfold. The contribution finishes with recommendations for encouraging autonomy in restrictive environments and for overcoming low systemic autonomy.
4.) Session 2.4 in seminar room 29.12 (1st floor in Villa Malwine)
Anita Töchterle, FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences, Austria
Where does learner autonomy leave the teacher?
Despite intense academic as well as practical research on the manifold aspects of learner autonomy, its implications for teacher development as well as the teacher’s own experience and notion of autonomy have, in the past, not received the attention they would have deserved. In more recent years, however, learner autonomy has been increasingly connected with the concept of teacher autonomy. In this presentation, I first intend to look more closely at various aspects of teacher autonomy as proposed by relevant authors and theorists. I will then move on to explore how it can be combined with my day-to-day routine as a language teacher at a mainly technically-oriented higher education institution. Although this setting offers me a high degree of freedom there are also some limitations. Bearing these in mind, I will conclude with some practical advice on how we can implement some useful aspects of teacher autonomy in our professional environment.
5.) Session 2.5 in seminar room 29.11 (1st floor in Villa Malwine)
Ruth Wilkinson, University of Castilla la Mancha, Spain/Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Group Tutorials – the missing link on the road to learner control?
Changing traditional teaching practices to promote autonomy can be difficult and disturbing for teachers and learners alike. In order to ease this transition, and help prepare learners for a more responsible role, we are encouraged to become ‘language advisors’ or ‘counsellors’. But if we are not careful, our ‘advising’ can actually make learners more, rather than less, dependent. With this in mind, I decided to experiment with group ‘learning to learn’ tutorials with my University students. I hoped the group approach would enable students to gain confidence and support each other in coping with new ideas, whilst allowing them to make connections between class-work and their wider lives. In this talk I explain the sometimes surprising results of these tutorials, including their impact on my own evolving role as teacher-facilitator-counsellor.
Saturday, June 2nd , 9 am – 6pm
Sessions 3.1 – 3.4 (workshops); 9.50 – 10.50
1.) Session 3.1 in lecture hall 47.01/47.02 (ground floor in theology building)
Elisabeth Pölzleitner, University of Graz, and Graz International Bilingual School, Austria
Creative Booklets: The pedagogy of the blank sheet
In this workshop we will explore creative reading and writing projects based on the concept of Hannelore and Helmut Zehnpfennig’s pedagogy of the blank sheet. In these projects learners are presented with blank pages or booklets and asked to fill these at their discretion, showing their understanding of at topic or book. Rather than guiding their thinking by elaborate tasks and worksheets, the students are thrown back at themselves and their own understanding of a topic. The results are stunning and open a window into the learners’ minds.
2.) Session 3.2. in seminar room 47.21 (2nd floor of theology building)
Marjorie Rosenberg, University of Graz, Austria
Helping learners discover autonomy
How can we help our learners discover the strategies they need to reach their potential? What tools do learners need to take responsibility for their own learning? This interactive workshop, based on a model created by April Bowie, M.A. of the learning Styles Institute inSeattle,Washington, will help you to explore your unique learning and teaching styles. According to Ms. Bowie’s research, this model works well to determine strengths and weaknesses in both learners and teachers and provides teachers with more tolerance for those whose styles are different from their own. Through self-discovery, practical activities, and teaching and learning tips, participants will uncover valuable clues about their preferred styles as well as how learning styles affect their learners. The goal of the workshop is to provide participants with strategies to pass on to their learners enabling them to experience success and independence in their quest for knowledge.
3.) Session 3.3. in seminar room 47.22 (2nd floor in theology building)
Jennifer Schumm and Nancy Campbell, University of Graz, Austria
Learner-centred feedback on writing
Do you ever feel that the time you invest in correcting learners’ work does not always result in a substantial improvement in their writing? This workshop addresses this problem. We will describe an action research project we are currently carrying out with our students which involves them determining the kind of feedback they would like on their written work. We will present the guidelines we have devised to help our students to identify the problems they are having in their writing and to communicate this information to us. Participants will then have the opportunity to discuss some examples of learner-centred feedback. We will conclude the workshop by evaluating the effectiveness of our approach.
4.) Session 3.4 in seminar room 29.12 (1st floor in Villa Malwine)
Anja Burkert, University of Graz, Austria
Developing and promoting autonomy in the university classroom
In this very practically-oriented workshop, I would like to share with my participants several ways of how I personally try to promote the autonomy of my students. I will hand out short extracts from learner diaries produced by first and second semester students in my grammar classes at the English department ofGrazUniversityas well as some reflective entries from my academic writing for scientists courses at treffpunkt sprachen. I will also share with the participants a few peer-reviewed texts and further provide some examples of self-evaluation tasks and progress checks. Before I ask the participants to actively engage with the material my students have produced, I will briefly outline my particular teaching situation with respect to the constraints which seem to exist in this context. I will then share with them the aspects of a pedagogy of autonomy which I have been introducing in my teaching over the years.
Sessions 4.1 – 4.4 (talks); 11.10 – 11.40
1.) Session 4.1 in lecture hall 47.01/47.02 (ground floor in theology building)
Irena Subic Jelocnik, Freelance, Slovenia
First steps to autonomy
When a teacher comes across the notion of Learner Autonomy, recognizes its value and decides to introduce it in their teaching practices, they may find themselves puzzled: what to DO when you step into the classroom? In the four years of teaching students aged 12-15, at the elementary/pre-intermediate level, I have used tools and procedures that help the learners towards greater autonomy. These practical issues will be described along with the students’ impressions and the teacher’s observations. Some of them have traditionally been used in ‘autonomous’ classrooms: two-minutes’ talk, logbooks, pair and groupwork on projects chosen by the students, choice of homework, encouraging students to make and use their own materials. Along with these I have also found helpful free access to a decent collection of books in the classroom, an improvised ‘How-to’ guide book, encouraging the students to bring their own content and organize activities in or outside the classroom.
2.) Session 4.2. in seminar room 47.21 (2nd floor in theology building)
Halina Wisniewska, Kozminski University, Warsaw
What lurks behind learner autonomy?
Assessment is one of the key elements facilitating the learning process. Every learner needs some feedback on the achievement. Yet, very often adult learners decide to either start learning a language or improve foreign language competence for a particular reason e.g. a new job opportunity, or their own satisfaction. Not all of them need an official proof of their language skills. They may just want to ensure that they are making progress and / or pursuing their language learning goals. They do not intend to enter for any more or less formal examination. In a traditional teacher-directed process it is the responsibility of the teacher to choose the most appropriate form of assessment. In self-directed learning the learner chooses what needs to be checked depending on the purpose of assessment. The aim of the article is to present and discuss, based on the results of empirical research, the effectiveness of some tools designed mainly to be used for assessment by self-directed learners.
3.) Session 4.3. in seminar room 47.22 (2nd floor in theology building)
Diana Granados Londoño, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany Autonomy and the learners’ experience in the work with audio-visual material
This talk will present a project in which 11 Spanish teacher-students chose and worked with authentic audiovisual materials for 6 weeks and reflected on the process through learning diaries and interviews. I will present interesting observations on two levels: on the experiment of promoting a more active and reflective work with authentic audiovisual materials, and on the students’ experience and criteria about material search, own goal setting, difficulties and the development of an audiovisual comprehension in the foreign language. These findings should promote a discussion on how and to which extent existing knowledge, habits, interests and problems in the use of audiovisual material can be a starting point for a learner-centered, autonomy developing language learning setting. Additionally, we will discuss what is necessary in order to promote a fruitful work with videos, films and others, that allow learners to experience a closer relationship between the work inside and outside the classroom and have a more active role in their learning process
4.) Session 4.4. in seminar room 29.12 (1st floor in Villa Malwine)
Ilse Born-Lechleitner, Zentrum für Fachsprachen und Interkulturelle Kommunikation, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria
Schoolbooks and autonomy
If “schools that kids love” should allow them “to become shareholders of their own learning”, what about schoolbooks? As a central teaching tool, they would then need to go beyond interesting topics and challenging tasks and provide orientation, ideas and help for both, teachers who want to become teachers for autonomy and students who want to become autonomous learners.
This talk will explore the principles of autonomy present in schoolbooks used in Austria: To which extent do these books use methods that allow for more open approaches to teaching and learning? Do they provide suggestions for individualized learning paths that help teachers support their students in becoming responsible and autonomous learners? Are teachers and students confronted with stimuli for autonomous learning? These questions will be answered by comparing some of the English books used in 1st forms of Austrian HAK/HLW (vocational colleges).
Sessions 5.1 – 5.4 (talks); 11.50 – 12.20
1.) Session 5.1 in lecture hall 47.01/47.02 (ground floor in theology building)
Carol Everhard, (formerly) Department of Theoretical & Applied Linguistics, School of English, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Tiptoeing through the tulips: Aiming for autonomy through assessment in EFL HE
Involving students in the assessment process can pose a challenge both to the learners and their instructor as it goes against the grain of the testing, assessment and evaluation (TEA) processes with which they are familiar.
While the European Language Portfolio encourages reflection on what has been learnt and self-evaluation of learning progress and achievements, using criterial checklists, it stops short of awarding real grades to peers and selves. Indeed, information about peer-assessment and self-assessment of the productive skills is scant, particularly with regard to EFL higher education (HE).
Such moves towards assessment bring both the instructor and the learners to unfamiliar terrain, which must be carefully engineered and negotiated, like tiptoeing through a field of tulips, which requires skill, trust and objective judgement. Evidence from the Assessment for Autonomy Research Project (AARP) suggests that recalibration of assessment power can help promote autonomy amongst EFL students at HE level.
2.) Session 5.2. in seminar room 47.21 (2nd floor in theology building)
Frank Lacey, Adalens Privatskole, Denmark
My path to autonomy: Autonomy, never, never, never!
Once upon a time it was my firm conviction that it was the teacher’s responsibility to teach and that ideas of giving students responsibility for their learning were at worst a refusal to take responsibility and at best naïve nonsense. I, the teacher, was paid to do a job. I had a responsibility. In addition, I loved teaching and enjoyed the interaction with my students. These same students scored extremely high results year after year in state controlled exams, and I as a teacher had a very good reputation among both students and parents. My teacher controlled classroom with a teacher controlled curriculum worked. Tampering with this successful model would be foolish, but I did. It was, however, not a case of Saul on the road toDamascus, a sudden change of practice upon seeing the light but rather a long and very painful process which took over three years. Like any teacher worth his salt, being a teacher is an integral part of how I define myself as a person. Thus, these 3+ years were full not only of hard study but also existential considerations. What was I doing? I, who had a reputation of being a strong teacher in control of my classes, was flirting with the idea of autonomy. An idea which, it appeared was diametrically opposed to everything I stood for.
But I changed…
3.) Session 5.3. in seminar room 47.22 (2nd floor in theology building)
Maria Pree, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria
Moodle – the perfect online learning tool?”
Social networks and e-learning are playing an increasingly important role in the life of young adults. The online learning platform moodle, which is already successfully applied by numerous language learning institutions, seems to be the perfect tool to support modern language instruction methods.
While working with moodle in my profession as a language teacher at the university, I started investigating the advantages and disadvantages of this platform for my students. How would they rate the practicability of moodle?
This was why I conducted a study among 80 of my students, confronting them with the following questions:
- Why do students mainly use moodle in a “conservative” way? Moodle leaves a lot of room for students to create content – why do they not make use of these opportunites?
- What are the differences in use between full- and part time students?
- How does the language level impact on the needs of moodle users?
During my presentation these questions will be answered in detail and discussed in an academic context.
4.) Session 5.4. in seminar room 29.12 (1st floor in Villa Malwine)
Elizabeth Bankowski, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
Music and pop culture for adult ESL learners
Recently, the presenter has introduced an element of pop culture into her course, with a series of teaching and self-study materials designed for use with selected YouTube clips of pop artists and their music. This presentation will show how these resources are used as effective tools in the ESL classroom and for independent study. By integrating the world of pop music and culture into the ESL course, these artfacts of cultural narrative can successfully motivate and inspire students to engage with the English language independently in a manner that is relevant to life. As a result, they may become more confident and competent communicators as well as gain knowledge and exposure beyond the mechanics of language itself. Doing so provides the student with cultural knowledge and creative communication skills which at the same time matches the students’ sense of what is fun and interesting.
Sessions 6.1 – 6.4 (workshops); 14.50 – 15.50
1.) Session 6.1. in lecture hall 47.01/47.02 (ground floor in theology building)
Ulrich Pichler, Austrian Centre for Language Competence, Graz, Austria
Electrifying Learner Autonomy – The Digital ELP (for learners aged 10-14)
The ELP has proven to be a very effective tool for fostering learner autonomy and competence orientated language learning. The ÖSZ produced various versions of the ELP over the past few years and was involved in various ELP related projects. Numerous implementation activities have been carried out; hundreds of teachers have been trained for using the ELP. With the decision to develop a highly functional digital ELP, an important step has been taken to enable learner autonomy in e-learning environments.
The workshop aims at:
- ·introducing a sophisticated e-learning tool for competence orientated language learning, that fosters learner autonomy
- ·giving participants a chance to gain insight into the process of developing and implementing ELPs
2.) Session 6.2. in seminar room 47.21 (2nd floor in theology building)
Frank Lacey, Adalens Privatskole, Denmark
Logbooks and homework sharing in the autonomous classroom
In the autonomous class, learning changes from an individual issue to a collective responsibility. Logbooks are a means of sharing learning and learning strategies. At the same time, they are tools of reflection and examples of learning by doing. As Lienhardt said inEssen, “Some people think you learn a language to use a language. You don’t! You use a language to learn a language”. A logbook provides the student with the opportunity to use his language. But a logbook also allows the teacher and student to establish an intense and intimate communication. The student is heard and the teacher is privileged with an insight into the student’s learning patterns and strategies, while also receiving feedback on her “teaching”.
The workshop would start with a presentation and then allow the participants to read and discuss a selection of logbooks written by my students.
3.) Session 6.3. in seminar room 47.22 (2nd floor in theology building)
Felicity Kjisik and Leena Karlsson, Helsinki University Language Centre, Finland
Language learning histories as a tool for learner reflection: Benefits and risks
Asking learners to write about their language learning histories has become commonplace in autonomous learning contexts and indeed it is a key feature of the programme (ALMS) at Helsinki University Language Centre But why do we ask our learners to do this and, even more importantly, how do we react and relate to their texts?
In this workshop we invite the participants to experience writing, reading and sharing autobiographical stories about learning languages. We will begin by briefly sharing a few theoretical and practical reflections on auto/biography in the service of foreign language education in autonomous learning environments. We will also briefly explain, with examples, our own approach to writing and sharing first-person texts with our own students in the context of language counselling for autonomy.
4.) Session 6.4. in seminar room 29.12 (1st floor in Villa Malwine)
Marion Williams, Helbling Languages, UK
Beyond Language Teaching: developing thinking in young learners
This talk is sponsored by Helbling Languages
In this talk I shall highlight the importance of going beyond the teaching of language and linking the acquisition of language to the development of non-linguistic knowledge and skills. I shall illustrate this with reference to the teaching of thinking. I shall first outline some of the programmes available around the world to teach thinking. I shall then discuss what is involved in the thinking process. I shall present a selection of activities designed to teach both language and thinking to young learners, and finally consider the important aspect of the role of the teacher in teaching thinking. Participants will have opportunities to experience the activities themselves. Although the tasks presented are designed for young learners, I shall indicate how they can be adapted for use with adult learners.
Sessions 7.1 – 7.4 (talks); 16.20 – 16.50
1.) Session 7.1. in lecture hall 47.01/47.02 (ground floor in theology building)
Ilka Dönhoff, Zentrum für Sprachlehre, University of Paderborn,
Step-by-Step Autonomy: A Five-Year Reflection on Developing and Promoting Learner Autonomy
In 2012, the Language Centre at PaderbornUniversity(Zentrum für Sprachlehre) celebrates its 5th anniversary and as such, it’s time to look back and consider the ways in which learner autonomy was taken into account. I will give an overview of the short history of our Language Centre while considering how it enabled and promoted learner autonomy through various means in different fields, and how these means are related to one another: facilities/infrastructure (e.g. the Mediathek – our self-study centre, technology equipment) personnel resources (e.g. academic staff, language counselling) additional academic offerings beyond the “traditional” courses (e.g. tandem programme, self-study offers for speaking, workshops) activities/methods/developments within courses (transparency in assessment criteria)
This review will be both a descriptive account of activities and a critical reflection on our own learning process. The review will be followed by an analysis examining both short-term and long-term priorities and their expected outcomes and challenges.
2.) Session 7.2. in seminar room 47.21 (2nd floor in theology building)
Nataša Gajšt, University of Maribor, Faculty of Economics and Business, Slovenia
Authentic business texts – a source of autonomous business English acquisition
To successfully communicate in today’s international business world, business people who are non-native speakers of English must have a good command of English. Concerning linguistic competence, a good command of general and specialist business English vocabulary is a must. Also, business people meet with different speakers of English. As regards listening skills as a part of an individual’s communicative competence, the speed and the manner of individuals’ oral communication can present a challenge for non-native speakers of English especially when the comprehension of what is said is made more difficult because of the specialist business terminology. In this talk, I discuss the results of the analysis of a 5-month autonomous learning assignment for the students of economic and business sciences, the principal aim of which was to help the students acquire new business terminology and enhance their listening skills via reading of and listening to authentic business texts.
3.) Session7.3. in seminar room 47.22 (2nd floor in theology building)
Luisella Leonzoni, University of Trieste, Italy
A MULTIMODAL APPROACH TOWARDS AUTONOMY
The purpose of this paper is to provide a practical example of how multimodality may trigger learner’s autonomy. By approaching multimodal (verbo-visual) texts as didactic tools to develop learner-centred and action-oriented activities, in terms of negotiated task-based learning processes, learners will be guided and monitored towards autonomy.
Learners’ first step towards autonomy is to become responsible for their own learning process and goals (Holec, 1980). This paper wishes to investigate how teacher-learner interaction, based on sharing and negotiating learning objectives, can emphasize the relevance of self-assessment as a moment of self-reflection, useful to process motivation and autonomy.
In my presentation I focus on and analyse how multimodal texts, of the verbo-visual mode, which convey co-deployed and contextualised codes in order to represent reality, may activate spoken interaction, thus implementing learners’ use of language. While activating language performances, learners develop self-reflection and autonomy.
Verbo-visual language, as a functional process, which builds up culturally specific and semiotic constructs of meaning making, prompts communication (verbal and visual). Since any act of visual communication involves the performer (who) of the message (what), and the receiver (whom), both the interactive participants (producers and viewers/readers) and the represented participants (people, places, and things depicted in the images) will be engaged in the co-interacting process.
By analysing some covers taken from the Economist, I wish to provide evidence of how learners may be proficiently involved in the learning process thus triggering autonomy.
4.) Session 7.4. in seminar room 29.12 (1st floor in Villa Malwine)
Maria De Santo and Luisa Boardman, University of Naples “L’Orientale”, Italy
E-counselling and language learning: supporting independent study in a virtual environment.
The Language Centre of theUniversityofNaples”L’Orientale” (CILA) has, in recent years, developed different ways of supporting autonomous language learning. One of the main activities of the Self-Access Centre, the language counselling service, initially carried out by face-to-face interview and activity mode, is now implemented with a virtual SAC, designed to offer students blended autonomous language learning.
This virtual context enables students to integrate independent learning in the real-life SAC with online activities, pathways and multimedia resources. The project has been carried out for English, French and Italian as a foreign language. It satisfies the growing need for a constantly available interface between our students and the resources of the Centre.
The role of the virtual SAC is that of improving and fostering a student-centred e-learning environment, where students can develop autonomy in learning a foreign language.