How to Measure Autonomy in Language Learning

How to measure autonomy in language learning. — In this chapter I am going to talk about the difficulties found while trying to measure autonomy. In addition, I am going to briefly describe some of the studies done about autonomous language learning.

The most famous example of a comparative study between traditional school and autonomous language learning is by Dam and Legenhausen (1996), who compared the autonomous classroom taught by Dam to a normal German classroom. They found that the learners from an autonomous classroom used the language in a more varied manner than the learners from a mainstream classroom. Little mentions that :

They have provided a wealth of evidence to show how and why Dam’s approach is more successful than mainstream teacher-led approaches (see, e.g., Dam and Legenhausen 1996, Legenhausen 1999a, 1999b, 1999c). (Little (n.d.) online)

Legenhausen has continued to provide data on the topic, mostly with data collected on the project called LAALE (Language Acquisition in an Autonomous Learning Environment) (Legenhausen 2001: 57).

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Autonomy is generally discussed as having different degrees, and learners becoming ‘more’ or ‘less’ autonomous over time, and as Benson (2011: 65) notes this implies that we have at least some ‘intuitive scale’ for measuring autonomy. However, more precise scale of autonomy is not available, because of the individual nature of autonomy. Benson provides us with an example of this:

At the risk of over-simplification, one learner may be good at drawing up and following study plans using self-access materials, while another may be good at creating opportunities for interaction with target language speakers. Learners may also call upon different aspects of autonomy as different situations demand them. We might want to say that these learners are ‘equally’ autonomous, although they are, in fact, autonomous in different and possibly noncomparable, ways (Benson 2011: 66)

Benson notes that in order to measure autonomy we have to be able to determine the components autonomy consists of. However, the problem lies with the fact that not all the elements are visible (Benson 2011: 65-66).

Read : 8 Educational Websites for Teachers to Light Up Your Class

Moreover, Breen and Mann (1997: 141) discuss the possible danger of creating situations where learners start to wear a ‘mask of autonomous behaviour’, which means that learners learn to imitate the kind of behaviour the teacher requires them to perform, instead of genuinely becoming autonomous. According to Benson (2011: 68-69) there has not yet been a reliable method of testing autonomy, but what can be seen from the current study is that the tests need to be context-sensitive and usually suitable only for single use. It would seem that rather than being able to give an accurate scale of learners’ autonomy, we are able collect and record the personal experiences of learners. This method has been used for instance by Karlsson (1997) and Nordlund (1997) in the ALMS-project at the University of Helsinki.

All though an important area of study, measuring autonomy as such is not the focus of this study. Rather than trying to measure levels of autonomy or compare it to other learning styles, the current study studied the attitudes and preparedness of teachers, teacher trainees and learners towards autonomy even before they necessarily had experienced autonomous learning.

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Dam, L. & Legenhausen, L. (1996). The acquisition of vocabulary in an autonomous learning environment – The first months of beginning English. In R. Pemberton, E. S. L. Li, W. W. F. Or and H. D. Pierson (Eds.), Taking control: Autonomy in language learning. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 265-280.

Legenhausen, L. (2001). Discourse behaviour in an autonomous learning environment. In L. Dam (Ed.), The Aila Review 15. United Kingdom: The Charlesworth Group, 56-69.

Benson, P. (2011). Teaching and Researching: Autonomy in Language Learning (2nd edition). Great Britain: Pearson Education.

Breen, M. P. & Mann, S. (1997). Shooting arrows at the sun: Perspectives on a pedagogy for autonomy. In P. Benson & P. Voller (eds.), Autonomy and independence in language learning. London: Longman, 132-149.

Karlsson, L. (1997). Student and teacher case studies. In L. Karlsson, F. Kjisik and J. Nordlund (eds.) From Here to Autonomy. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 93-120. [online]

Nordlund, J. (1997). Research into attitudes towards autonomy among teachers and learners, and the process of change. In L. Karlsson, F. Kjisik and J. Nordlund (eds.) From Here to Autonomy. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 65-93. [online]

Author : Johanna Riihimäki

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5 Must Try Educational Technology Tools for Student

Description: Educational technology tools for student has made the learning process feel engaging and fun. Discover 5 well-developed software that has improved student lives



Educational technology (EdTech) has shaped the face of learning in the digital era with its limitless possibility. Teachers praised it for its versatility in many contexts, and students do embrace it, for it gives them a whole new level of experience. Educational technology tools for student are a definite gem.

Read : Easy Tips on How to Teach Financial Education for Kids

Software developers have collaborated with educational experts, schools, and higher institutions to create the novel digital learning tools. A lot of students have used them regularly and send positive feedback as they get the benefits. So, here are 5 EdTech tools that have forever changed the way students learn.

  1. Edmodo. Imagine a social media-alike platform that enables students to connect with their teachers and classmates at fingertips. That’s how Edmodo comes up with the idea of building a learning ecosystem that’s not only inclusive but also interactive. Students will feel a sense of connectedness, even with distance learning.Edmodo has many incredible features, such as class folders and also a built-in planner. It makes the students feel less stressed and overwhelmed. Students can also instantly message the teachers or even ask help from classmates whenever they encounter a problem.
  2. Google Arts and Culture. There is more to Google other than what we have been getting familiar with all this time. Google Arts and Culture is one of the educational technology apps that enrich student’s experience to explore art collections from many parts of the world. Visit the Van Gogh museum or zoom-in Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait art pieces.Learning arts and history will never feel the same anymore, and even it can be very addictive. This platform does offer a musical tour that, at the same time, introduces students to various world music virtuosos from the past centuries. Here’s when technology promotes artistic intelligence instead of hindering it.
  3. Great Big Story. Curiosity is the driving factor that makes a learning process feel adventurous, and it becomes the very core trait of a lifetime learner. Answering the demand of all curious students, Great Big Story brings knowledge, facts, and stories in an easy-to-access package. It promotes optimism on how amazing this humankind is.Most of the contents come in short-video forms and bite-sized articles. Everyone can dive into it through their official websites, mobile apps, and even YouTube account. Learn further how an astronaut’s life looks, or how do Japanese farmers grow white strawberries and cubed watermelon.
  4. Hemingway Editor.Writing is a practical skill that contributes a lot to a student’s journey, and it becomes one of the greatest assets in the future. Most students find it very intriguing to master English writing, no matter if they are native speakers or not. Here’s why Hemingway Editor is now available to help students in language lessons.Just copy and paste your writing pieces, and the tool will highlight any grammatical errors, passive voices, and complicated sentences. This kind of artificial intelligence machine is the best assistance to learn how to achieve bold and precise writing. Surely, everyone needs to write out in their best possible way.
  5. Matific. Math is no longer a nightmare, thanks to the development of Matific as they gamify math like none ever did before. This example of innovative teaching tools is suitable for children from ages 4 to 11 and comes in an experimental game. Matific utilizes daily settings and ordinary objects to teach basic mathematical concepts.Studies have proven that learning math using Matific for at least 15 minutes a week will foster a child’s problem-solving skill and critical thinking. Here’s to welcoming the era where learning math is enjoyable and engaging.

Read : 5 Top Reasons for the Educational Technology Importance

So, these are 5 educational technology tools for student that help in facilitating a better learning experience. As much as students love them, teachers will be forever thankful too as now they’re having a lot of useful tools to develop creative teaching. Hopefully, you find any insights from this information and want to give them a try!


Information and Communications Technology in the Learning Process

Information and Communications Technology in the Learning Process. — Characteristics of a teacher include formal education, teaching tenure, age, gender, training experience, accessibility for working as a teacher (city or village), participation in professional organizations of teachers [5],[8].

Based on the literature review on characteristics of a teacher related to ICT, gender does not affect teachers ‘attitudes toward ICT [9] but is strongly associated with teachers’ beliefs and perceptions [10], collaboration with friends, seeking information and data processing, men are better than women [11].

Age significantly influences ICT skills [11]. The teaching experience is correlated positively with the use of ICT [12]. ICT facilities (hardware, software, and infrastructure) are positively correlated with the success of learning [13]. The ownership length of the home computer and the experience of using computer severely affected the use of ICT [14].

Demographics factors that influence abilities to use ICT for example income level, level of education, age, and gender [15]-[17]. Factor the young teachers are better than the old teachers in using ICT resources [18]. Factor demographic those male teachers more receptive than the female teachers to ICT use [19]-[21].

Factor demographic level of education people influences on the use of ICT. A person that uses ICT is mainly educated people [15], because they have more skills and chances to go online [22]. According to [23] said that the use of ICT by teachers is also influenced by academic discipline (that is, mathematic, sciences, social, arts, and humanities).

There are teachers who master ICT, but who are less successful at integrating it in learning process [12]. The important thing for a teacher to learn is how to convey the material with ICT, not only the ability of students to master ICT. Some student’s easilly grasp the material and quickly master the ICT, some students master ICT only, and some students need technical assistance for both.

Therefore, a teacher must have a sound learning plan to overcome the problems of students, especially the beginners. Effective teaching implementing ICT requires an understanding of how technology relates to pedagogy and learning content; then the knowledge of technology cannot be handled independently of the material. An interdisciplinary approach is necessary to integrate ICT in learning process [3],[7],[24],[25].

Books and Laptop

Teachers must understand how technology, pedagogy, learning content, and knowledge are an interconnected unity in the learning process. Teaching with technology requires a flexible framework that can be integrated with various pedagogical approaches and for various learning content/materials.

The first step teachers should undertake is to formulate the learning objectives, then to choose the appropriate type of activity for that purpose, and then to choose the right technology [26]. Teachers should be careful in choosing the right strategies and technologies in learning process [25].

Read : Teachers Who are Competent in Teaching Edmodo Applications

Instructional practices with ICT are able to enhance and support teaching and learning effectively [27]. The technologies can mediate interaction, but it is how these technologies pedagogies are used to support collaborative practices optimally so that these make the difference in teaching and learning [28].

The teacher requires preparing deeper plan to teach with ICT, starting planning, implementation, and finally evaluation. Using technology can effectively improve pedagogical abilities in learning [29]. ICT as a tool for improving the presentation of material, for making lessons more fun for the learners and for making administration more efficient [30]. The use of ICTs in pedagogy could promote ‘deep’ learning [31].

Use technology in schools enables shifts in pedagogical practices, thus enable benefiting students’ learning [32]. ICT supported learning environments can enhance to meaningful constructivist teaching and to make of learning environments to be the ideal [33].

This is shown that the use of ICT for teaching and learning very necessary. Therefore, pedagogy is required using ICT in learning [34]. The educators may need extensive knowledge of ICT to be able to understand how to integrate the ICT into their pedagogy teaching [34]. The use of ICT and integration of technology is dependent on number teachers’ readiness, confidence, knowledge, and ability to evaluate the role of ICT in teaching and learning.

relating to ICT include a computer, the Internet, hardware, and software. One free learning tool, available in a variety of applications, on the Internet includes social networking media [35],[36]. Social networking sites that can be used include Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Edmodo, and Google docs [12]. An online tool that offers users a free cost to join and allows users to communicate and interact with each other is Edmodo. Edmodo’s social media is a tool to enhance learning experiences on science subjects.



[[5] D. Bebell, M. Russell, dan L. O. Dwyer, “Measuring Teachers’ Technology Uses: Why Multiple-Measures Are More Revealing,” International Society for Technology in Educationvol, vol/issue: 37(1), pp. 45–63, 2004.

[6] A. Chigona and W. Chigona, “Capability approach on pedagogical use of ICT in schools,” TD The Journal forTransdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa, vol/issue: 6(1), pp. 209–224, 2010.

[7] J. Hughes, “The role of teacher knowledge and learning experiences in forming technology- integrated pedagogy,”J Technol Teach Educ, vol/issue: 13(2), pp. 277–302, 2005.

[8] A. D. Ritzhaupt, et al., “Explaining technology integration in K-12 classrooms: a multilevel path analysis model,” JEduc Comput Res, vol. 46, pp. 229–254, 2012.

[9] J. D. Shapka and M. Ferrari, “Computer-related attitudes and actions of teacher candidates,” Computers in Human,vol/issue: 19(3), pp. 319-334, 2003.

[10] A. Jimoyiannis, “Developing a Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge Framework for Science Education:Implications of a Teacher Trainers’ Preparation Program The Notion of Technological Pedagogical ContentKnowledge,” Proceedings of Informing Science & IT Education Conference, pp. 597-607, 2010.

[11] L. Deniz, “İlköğretim Okullarında Görev Yapan Sınıf ve Alan Öğretmenlerinin Bilgisayar Tutumları,” ComputHuman Behav, vol/issue: 4(4), pp. 30, 2005.

[12] P. Garcia and S. Rose, “The Influence of Technocentric Collaboration on Preservice Teachers’ Attitudes AboutTechnology’s Role in Powerful Learning and TeachingNo Title,” J Technol Teach Educ, vol/issue: 15(2), pp. 247–266, 2007.

[13] S. Owusu-ansah, “Application Of Information And Communication Technology ( Ict ): A Comparative Analysis ofMale and Female Academics in Africa,” Libr Philos Pract, pp. 1-35, 2013.

[14] B. Cavas, et al., “A study on science teachers’ attitudes toward information and communications technologies ineducation,” Turkish Online J Educ Technol, vol/issue: 8(2), pp. 20–32, 2009.

[15] W. M. Olatokun and O. C. Adeboyejo, “Information and communication technology use by reproductive healthworkers in nigeria: state of the art, issues, and challenges,” An Interdisciplinary Journal on Humans in ICT Environments, vol/issue: 5(2), pp. 181–207, 2009. ISSN: 2252-8822 IJERE Vol. 6, No. 4, December 2017 : 299 – 305

[16] UNDP, “Promoting ICT for human development programme. A Pionnering Regional Human Development Report in Asia,” 2011.

[17] A. Abu-Obaideh, et al., “ Effects of demographic characteristics, educational background, and supporting factors on ICT readiness of technical and vocational teachers in Malaysia,” International Education Studies, vol/issue: 5(6), pp. 229-243, 2012.

[18] M. Sanni, et al., ”Harnessing the Potentials of Internet Technology for Research and Development among Undergraduates in Nigeria: A Case Study of Obafemi Awolowo University,” International Journal of Computing and ICT Research, vol/issue: 3(1), 2009.

[19] E. Alampay, “Analyzing socio-demographic differences in the access and use of ICTs in the Philippines using the capability approach,” The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, vol/issue: 27(5), pp. 1-39, 2006.

[20] Z. A. Samak, “An Exploration of Jordanian English Language Teachers’attitudes,Skills, and Access As Indicator of Information and Communication Technology Integration in Jordan,” 2006.

[21] A. Sadik, “Factors influencing teachers’ attitudes toward personal use and school use of computers: New evidence from a developing nation,” vol/issue: 30(1), pp. 86-113, 2006.

[22] R. Taylor and H. C. Lee, “Occupational therapists’ perception of usage of information and communication technology in western Australia and the association of availability of ICT on recruitment and retention of therapists working in rural areas,” Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, vol. 52, pp. 51–56, 2005.

[23] V. M. A. Mbarika, et al., “ The neglected continent of IS research: A research agenda for Sub-Saharan Africa,” Journal of the Association for Information Systems, vol/issue: 6(5), pp. 130-170, 2005.

[24] M. L. Niess, “Preparing teachers to teach science and mathematics with technology: Developing a technology pedagogical content knowledge,” Teach Teach Educ, vol/issue: 21(5), pp. 509–523, 2005.

[25] M. J. Koehler and J. M. Rosenberg, “The Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge Framework for Teachers and Teacher Educators,” pp. 1–8, 2013.

[26] P. Mishra and M. J. Koehler, “Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge,” Teach Coll Rec, vol/issue: 108(6), pp. 1017–1054, 2006.

[27] U. Girgin, et al., “Technology Integration Issues in a Special Education School in Turkey,” Cypriot Journal of Educational Sciences, vol/issue: 6(1), 2011.

[28] C. Hoyles and J. B Lagrange, “Mathematics Education and Technology: Rethinking The Terrain,” Springer, 2009.

[29] J. Louw, et al., “Time-on-task, technology and mathematics achievement,” Evaluation and Program Planning, vol. 31, pp. 41–50, 2008.

[30] BECTA, “What the research says about using ICT in Maths,” 2003.

[31] B. T. Lau and C. H. Sim, “Exploring the extent of ICT adoption among secondary school teachers in Malaysia,” International Journal of Computing and IT Research, vol/issue: 2(2), pp. 19-36, 2008.

[32] J. Hardman, “An exploratory case study of computer use in a primary school mathematics classroom: New technology, new pedagogy?” Perspectives in Education, vol/issue: 23(4), pp. 99-111, 2005.

[33] P. C. Newhouse, “The impact of ICT on learning and teaching,” 2002.

[34] M. Cox, et al., ”ICT and pedagogy: A review of the research literature, ICT in Schools,” Research and Evaluation Series, vol.18, 2003.

[35] M. B. Cruz and S. B. B. Cruz, “The Use of Internet-Based Social Media as a Tool in Enhancing Student’s Learning Experiences in Biological Sciences,” High Learn Res Community, vol/issue: 3(4), pp. 68–80, 2013.

[36] F. A. Mokhtar and H. Dzakiria, “Illuminating the Potential of Edmodo as an Interactive Virtual Learning Platform for English Language Learning and Teaching,” Malaysian J Distance Educ, vol/issue: 17(1), pp. 83–98, 2015.

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