Creating beaten, but these are only frictions
Creating LearnerAutonomy to Meet the 20th Century Academic NeedsDr. Rajesh LankapalliLecturer in EnglishRGUKT NuzvidCell: 9676652125E-mail: [email protected] In the current centuryeverything is made simple including learning and teaching with the technologyenabled life. In our day to day life we search for a role and work for thesignificance of our role for the fulfillment of dreams and aspirations. As ourhuman race is irrepressibly curious and fidgety; we try to question everythingand seek outcomes; we see a need and possibility and push forward to seewhether if we can make it real or not.
The drive to learn can be concealed, thoughwe are deprived and beaten, but these are only frictions to the relentlesslearning thrust which has propelled our race from its pre-historic early stagesto its current civilized stage. It is a continuous quest of knowledge and itsapplication for making the life perfect. Hence autonomouslearning is designed to nurture this thrust, to widen and deepen it and to helpstudents channelize and refine learning and teaching.
In the appliedlinguistics contexts, autonomy is also seen as ability for active andindependent learning. In the philosophical viewpoint, autonomy is a capacityfor critical indication, independent action and decision making. And autonomizationis a substance of acquiring those capacities which are very much obligatory tocarry out a self-directed education. Moreover, autonomy can be seen as anapproach towards learning in which the learner is prepared to takeresponsibility for his/her learning and its application to life. Democraticcountries like India needs its citizens, who can think, act and take decisionsand responsibilities individually solely.
So endorsement of autonomy among theadolescents satisfies the need of taking decisions on their own. With theadvent of technology in the current century we have added little significanceto these educational ideals towards the above mentioned concepts like promotingself-learning because of many external pressures both from the society andindividual. Every learner must be acquainted with how to discover in his/herday to day life and how to adapt to rapidly shifting conditions, and how totake independent initiative whenever in catastrophic situation of societal lifeand education. As a result, learner autonomy prepares students for this new erain which the active learner only survives living his/her life to the fullest.
The key to succeed inlearning depends on allowing each individual to construct his or her meaning,not make them memorize and repeat another person’s meaning. In formal learningenvironments, learners can be enabled to construct their own personal learningspaces in accordance with their personal and educational needs. It seems thatif learners are given a share of responsibility in the decision-makingprocesses regarding dimensions such as pace, sequence, mode of instruction, andcontent of study, learning could be more focused and more purposeful, and thusmore effective both immediately and in the longer term.Learnerautonomy:Learner autonomy comesout of the individual learner’s receipt of responsibility for his/her own learningthe things. This means that learner autonomy is a matter of conscious intentionor explicit: one cannot accept responsibility for her/his own learning unlesss/he has some idea of basic questions how, why and what s/he tries to learn.Autonomy is an elusive conceptthat is somewhat complex to get hold of. In a simple sense, autonomy denotes asignificant measure of independence from external forces.
However it is balancedby our mutual dependence on each other in present civilization. Thus, it is aquestion of mutual interdependence. The term autonomy has been used in fourways as follows 1. Creating situations/conditionsin which learners study entirely on their own 2.
An inborn ability which is suppressed by competitiveeducation system 3. A set of skills which can be learned and appliedin self-directed learning 4. The freedom of learners to determine thedirection of their own learningAll the definitions oflearner autonomy have a common point and they cite the concept that learnersare involved in their own learning process.
Through this association theyclearly relate their ideas, beliefs and thoughts with the world outside theclassroom. Driving home to the language learning, it is to be able to use thetarget language apart from the classroom or their learning environment.Characteristicsof Autonomous learners in 20th century: In this study ‘learnerautonomy’ stands for the basic and general characteristics of learner autonomyin teaching speaking skill to the second language learners. Every single factoris very important in language learning specially in case of learning speaking.Under this standpoint, this inquiry will be limited to the six following points:i.
Setting Objectives:As autonomous learningis a self-directed learning so, here the learner himself defines his objectivesand other essential consequence of this will be the introduction of the learnersspecific personal dimension. Definition of the objectives will be based on ananalysis made by the learner of the final behavior aimed at, in accordance withhis subjective criteria. So, in an autonomous learning process, a learner fixeshis objectives according to his own needs and at the same time he has the rightto change it according to his ability and desire. ii.Materials:Choosing material isclosely related to setting objectives. An autonomous learner selects hismaterials according to his choice and interest which he thinks will help him toreach his objective. In this regard, learners even can change and modify theirmaterials frequently. So, in this process, a fixed material for all isdefinitely not in use rather an autonomous classroom has variations of materialfrom a wide range of collection.
The learner will have to discover thosecontents by observing and analyzing the source of information available to him:written texts, sound recordings, video recordings, films, dictionaries, grammars,etc. These sources will also include both educational and authentic documents,and native speakers. So, materials for learning speaking should depend on alearners expected communicative competence on his desired situations.
Such assome materials can have focus on professional purpose where some others mayserve other purpose related to practical life related oral communications.iii. Methods: The nature of materials in an autonomousclassroom is almost same as the materials mentioned above. So, methods are notimposed on the learners, they have full freedom in choosing their methods.
Theylearn thorough the activities which seem interesting to them. In this case, ifthe tasks given by the teachers are interesting or related to their practicallife experience, they do that. So, according to the theory of an autonomousclassroom, learners can learn speaking through different activities. Such as,some may like to learn through role play, some may like to learn through debateand in other case it may happen through pair work. iv. Evaluation: In autonomous learningprocess, objectives, materials and methods all are interrelated and each one isfollowing the other one.
So, materials and methods are set according to theobjective set by the learners. In the same way, evaluation also has to beconsidered according to the fulfillment of objective. So, self-assessment andpeer evaluation enhance the desire of learning and make the total learningprocess an effective and fruitful one.
v. Teacher-LearnerRelationship: In an autonomouslearning process, a teacher is always a facilitator. In this case, teachersalways maintain a high quality relationship with the learners. So, therelationship becomes so sound that the learners get full effort from theirteachers about what they want and need.
In this sort of relation, teachersalways give the learners enough paces to think, to ask questions, to motivatethemselves to the next attempt to their own learning and all these stepspromote the learning process. In learner autonomy, teachers are thefacilitators of their learners? inner motivation as well as their potentials. vi. Learning Environment: It includes greater perceivedcompetence higher mastery motivation. In learner autonomy, learning environmentplays a vital role for. An autonomous learning environment is a must inlearning English speaking as it was mentioned before, “In a foreign language, aspeaker has to look for suitable lexis, has to construct an appropriate syntacticstructure and needs to use a comprehendible accent, plus the demanding tasks ofthinking and organizing ideas and expressing them at the same time.
So,multiple activities are involved in speaking and for this reason, high comfortin classroom is mandatory to produce all these simultaneously withouthesitation.In the pedagogic situations,it is expected that fundamental conceptual changes are made in order to create perceptionsof teaching, which should clearly get reflected at all levels of instructionand learning. Hence this paper tries to explore the possibilities of improvingthe teaching and learning situations of ESL in our country so as learnersbecome autonomous in ESL learning scenario. If the learner can be directed toautonomous learner or independent learner we can make the learner not onlylearn for immediate purposes but also for lifelong circumstances and learningsituations. I could trace the famous quotation “Give a man a fishand you’ll feed him for a day. Teach aman to fish, and you’ve fedhim for a lifetime”.
Conclusion:This significant studyunfolds that the teachers of most of the private universities do not followlearner autonomy at the tertiary level in English speaking classes. Though theyhave some autonomous practice in English speaking classes but that is veryless. But, it is really hard to generalize that it is a common picture in allthe private and government schools in India.
Moreover, this study has hugescope to inspire some other researchers to investigate learner autonomy in theperspective of India in future with vast positive impact