S8: Language learning in the autonomy classroom


Symposiumsleitung: Christian Ludwig (Essen), Dr. Leni Dam (Kopenhagen), Prof. Dr. Lienhard Legenhausen (Münster), Prof. Dr. Bernd Rüschoff (Essen)
Datum/Raum: Donnerstag, 20.09., und Freitag, 21.09., Raum 00.14

Donnerstag, 20.09.

09:15–10:45 Uhr Lienhard Legenhausen (Münster) und Christian Ludwig (Essen)
Welcome and introduction to the day: Basic principles underlying language learning in the autonomy classroom
  Leni Dam (Kopenhagen) und Lienhard Legenhausen (Münster)
Vocabulary acquisition in the autonomy classroom – principles and procedures and outcomes (workshop/talk)
  Ewa Tomczak (Posen)
The singing way to autonomy: fostering autonomous language learning with the use of songs (talk)
10:45 Uhr Pause
11:15 Uhr Plenarvortrag
12:15 Uhr Mittagspause
Führungen durch die Antikensammlung
13:30–15:00 Uhr Bernd Rüschoff (Essen)
Learner autonomy and technology (workshop)
  Christian Ludwig (Essen)
The role of dictionaries in the autonomy classroom (talk)

Freitag, 21.09.

09:00–11:15 Uhr The use of the autonomy principles in the German language learning context
  Bernd Rüschoff (Essen): Introduction to slot followed by discussion in groups
  Plenary: Presentations and views from group discussions
  Winding up of day including evaluation and ways ahead

Beschreibung des Symposiums/Content of Symposium

This symposium aims to combine the three areas of the conference – words, knowledge, and dictionaries – in the light of autonomy in language learning. Despite some protestations to the contrary, the present-day teaching orthodoxy still insists on the centrality of structures in foreign language courses – as attested by the linguistic progression in most textbooks.

It is in this context that the experiences from autonomy classrooms might add valuable findings and insights. After a brief introduction to the basic principles of the autonomy classroom, the first two inputs will be dealing with “Vocabulary acquisition in the autonomy classroom”. As the focus of the learning process is on the active role of the learner, the ways in which they work with the words – the activities they engage in,  will enhance our understanding of successful learning processes.

However, the increasing use of technology in language learning as well as the interactive and collaborative character of the web 2.0 also offers a great many opportunities for autonomy classrooms. The next two inputs will deal with these opportunities. Learners can make use of technology when working on and presenting their projects or use and create online dictionaries or materials. Furthermore, portfolios and logbooks can be composed and kept online. Last but not least, evaluation and assessment can be put online.

Apart from combining the three areas of the conference, it is also the aim of the symposium to discuss to which extent the inputs given and thus the basic principles of the autonomy classroom are relevant to the German language learning context and to which extent they can be – and should be - implemented within the existing syllabus guidelines in Germany.

Selected Literature:

  • Barnes, D. (1979). From Communication to Curriculum. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books.
  • Dam, L. (1995). Learner Autonomy 3: From Theory to Classroom Practice. Dublin: Authentik.
  • Dam, L., Legenhausen, L. (1996). The acquisition of vocabulary in an autonomous learning environment – the first months of beginning English. In R. Pemberton et al. (eds). Taking Control: Autonomy in Language Learning, 265–80. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
  • Legenhausen, L. (1999). The emergence and use of grammatical structures in conversational interactions – comparing traditional and autonomous learners. In Missler, B. / Multhaup, U. (eds.). The Construction of Knowledge, Learner Autonomy and Related Issues in Foreign Language Learning, 27–40. Tübingen: Stauffenberg.
  • Little, D. (1991). Learner Autonomy 1: Definitions, Issues and Problems. Dublin: Authentik.

Nach oben