Thursday, 23 February 2012

Week 7 : The Autonomous Learner and the one computer class.

What is learner autonomy ?  When I started reading this article, I thought I was going to find a simple definition of the term,  something we all agreed on.  However, as I said in my post in nicenet,  I realized that there are different approaches to this term. In  broad words, we know that it refers to the ability that a learner has to take responsibility for his/her own learning.  It sounds easy to understand, but it is certainly not so easy to accomplish . I believe this is one of the ultimate goals we, educators have. As we  are preparing children not only to learn about different topics, but also to apply that knowledge in their lives, we need, mostly to prepare ,to guide and to help them choose the right tools to gain independance , to believe in themselves and in their learning capacities so that they become, finally, an autonomous learner. In the site provided this week :  we can see the different attributes that characterize autonomous learners.  Some of them are :

They have insights into their learning styles and strategies
They take an active approach to the learning task at hand
They are willing to communicate in the target language
They have  a tolerant and outgoing approach to the target language
Their needs and motivation are important to be considered
They have developed language awareness

By taking a look at this, we can figure out the steps we might follow to help our learners in
search of autonomy.  We must begin by knowing them as much as possible. Some simple issues, such as knowing their names, may mean a lot to them. We  should  know about the different learning styles they have  and include, in our classes, activities that address all those different styles. We must develop tasks to promote more communication in class and contextualize the language they are using. We need also to create a friendly atmosphere, as another additional factor we must always consider. Clearly, students will be more open to acquire, learn and apply a language in a friendly, relaxed and motivated atmosphere, where errors are taken as necessary conditions to improve  learning.  We can flexibilize our learning  by adding challenges and meaningful tasks, so as to  make learners realize how much learning they can get  from their own efforts, search and will. We already have something important : the desire to teach. Our task is now, to keep always alive : The desire to learn.


As  it  comes to  the one-computer classroom , I  learned that  there are different startegies we may do to foster learning. Although it must be difficult to have only one computer when you have a large class, I guess we can manage to work if we organize ourselves with our students. There are a series of  activities proseded  in  the readings that we checked this week, that might help for that purpose. We can even assign tasks to be done at home when do not have enough time
to cope with the curriculum requirements and extra activities. The main thing we should keep in mind, is to give them authentic material  that motivate our students to learn. I think the aricles we read and discussed this week are really helpful and will really benefit our learning-teaching


  1. Hello Denise,

    I think that Week 7 was so interesting especially referring to the learners' autonomy. I think that it's a dream of every teacher to help her/his students to become independent learners. As you said that it is easy to understand but it is not easy to accomplish, I think that we should help our students to understand the word *autonomous* step by step and also without any pressure. We should also give them a helping hand from their early stages of learning.
    On the other hand, one-computer classroom is also an interesting for me. As I use a computer in my classroom, I can say that it can be very rewarding. A lot of it can be achieved and in my opinion it is easier to control students when there is a computer in a class.

    Best regards


  2. Hi Denise and Rade,

    It seems that we all agree in respects of giving students a helping hand fron the early stages of learning. I believe just as you do that it is not only the students' job, but also the teacher's job to mativate and teach them to become autonomous learners, and this should be done from the very beginning.