Presentation on theme: "HOW TO INTRODUCE LANGUAGE LEARNING AUTONOMY IN H.E. EFFECTIVELY The Spanish Language Portfolio at the University of Leeds Antonio Martínez-Arboleda Senior."— Presentation transcript:
HOW TO INTRODUCE LANGUAGE LEARNING AUTONOMY IN H.E. EFFECTIVELY The Spanish Language Portfolio at the University of Leeds Antonio Martínez-Arboleda Senior Teaching Fellow University of Leeds
Summary of presentation I. Fostering Student Autonomy in Language Learning: Inherited Limitations of the UK HE Sector II. How Situational Freedom is Regulated in our Autonomous Learning Programme. What about Autonomy? III. Students Perceptions IV. Past and Future of our Portfolio V. Academic Conclusions VI. Conclusions for Practitioners
Inherited Limitations of the UK HE Sector Hyper-regulated programming
Inherited Limitations of the UK HE Sector Hyper-regulated Learning Environment
Inherited Limitations of the UK HE Sector Individualistic - Extrinsic Motivation - Classification
Inherited Limitations of the UK HE Sector Different learning activities competing to attract student attention
Inherited Limitations of the UK HE Sector Focused on measurable learning outputs
Inherited Limitations of the UK HE Sector Autonomy? Social Learning? Personalised Learning?
Inherited Limitations of the UK HE Sector The Regulatory Paradox
Inherited Limitations of the UK HE Sector Benson (2008 : 28-29) differentiates between Situational Freedom and Autonomy
Situational Freedom and Autonomy in the Autonomous Learning Programme in Spanish Benson (2008 : 29-30) Learning situations or behaviours have no intrinsic relationship to personal autonomy. This is explained in the context of the person who chooses to take a course in carpentry, in reference to Dickinsons work. By accepting to attend classes in carpentry and being part of a programme, that person is accepting a limitation in his freedom. For Benson, that person who takes the course is relinquishing his situational freedom, rather than his autonomy. The reason is that for Benson, learner autonomy is connected to the overall development of the individual autonomy of the learner in their personal life. Benson (2008 : 19) The type of learning that leads to the goal of personal autonomy in life
Situational Freedom and Autonomy in the Autonomous Learning Programme in Spanish Set number 1: To be exposed to a wide range of inputs of the student choice in the target language; To produce written texts at an adequate level of linguistic competence in accordance to the course-module objectives (CEFR). Set number 2: To reflect critically upon items of cultural production and situations of social interaction of the students choice. Set number 3: To acquire a higher level of awareness about their own learning; by identifying their own learning needs and identifying their objectives and targets; To be able to choose meaningful and motivating ways of achieving their objectives; To become reflective learners.
Situational Freedom and Autonomy in the Autonomous Learning Programme in Spanish Students need to complete a self-questionnaire about their linguistic competence and learning objectives at the beginning and the end of the year. Every time a student submits one of the parts of the portfolio, she is supposed to introduce a comprehensive learning reflection. There is feedback on language, content and quality of learning reflection. We organise workshops on how to make the most of the activities and complete the worksheets and different forms in this programme.
Situational Freedom and Autonomy in the Autonomous Learning Programme in Spanish The module is assessed by: a multiple choice test done during January examination period (15%) a tarea para casa done during the year (15%) 29 th March 2011 a Portfolio of Activities of Autonomous Learning to be completed throughout the year in 4 instalments during the academic year (25%) (8 th of Nov/10 th Jan/7 th March/10 th May) an oral examination in May based on the Portfolio of Autonomous Learning and oral exercises done during the year (15%) Week 10 th of May a written examination in May/June (30%).
Situational Freedom and Autonomy in the Autonomous Learning Programme in Spanish The portfolio is made up of worksheets that student complete. Each type of activity has at least one generic worksheet. Each worksheet is worth a number of points (a conference is worth 25 points, for instance). Each worksheet has got a word limit. Each worksheet has a number of set questions, but students have relative freedom to stick to some of them.
Situational Freedom and Autonomy in the Autonomous Learning Programme in Spanish So, what about autonomy? With the worksheets, the rules and the points system we are only placing constraints on the situational freedom of the student, but not on their autonomy. In fact, if we think about autonomy the way Benson describes it, we are targeting very well our efforts with the portfolio in terms of fostering learners autonomy. Our students have chosen to study a degree in Spanish Language and Culture. Being able to enjoy and appreciate authentic samples of uncut cultural production is key for their future personal autonomy in life. Students choose the activities. They self-direct their learning in a much greater fashion than in fixed curricula.
Students Perceptions on Rules, Freedom and Autonomy Quality of the Learning Experience The Effect of a Compulsory Autonomous Learning Programme The Amount of Rules and Guidance Autonomy
Present and Future of Spanish Language Autonomous Learning at the University of Leeds Wider range of skills are now covered throughout the portfolio Personalised learning: more variety of worksheets = more freedom to choose Feedback enhanced - solid framework for reflection - online submission Support and involvement of tutors The future Video Submission - Authenticity - A more Social Autonomous Language Learning. See Language Box activity on the book Manolito Gafotas:
Academic Conclusions A stronger body of academic research on autonomous learning and empirical studies is needed in each one of the different areas of our provision of Post-A level Languages in HE. The specific learning context of the student in HE UK has to be better understood: The role that rules play in our system - ideology and values - expectations
Conclusions – Recommendations for Practitioners Compulsory autonomous language learning programmes for all the students in B2 CEFR in HE language modules The introduction of points, the definition of a clear reward in terms of academic results and some kind of estimate in terms of hours or word limit, quantification. Ongoing submission and monitoring Integrated approach: language + culture (choice – personal interest) + learning reflection Work that is relevant for the community or their peers and is going to be visible at some point to them.
References and acknowledgments Materials shown in this presentation: Handing sheet and questionnaire produced by María García Florenciano, Bettina Hermoso Gómez, Antonio Martínez-Arboleda and Juan Muñoz López in Conference worksheet produced by Antonio Martínez-Arboleda in Rodrigo Malstems conference worksheet produced by Ben Bollig in Colleagues who have produced worksheets for the portfolio since 2002: Ben Bollig, Daniel Campos, Ramiro Cebreiros, Vanesa Fernández Rios, María García Florenciano, Stuart Green, Paula González, Bettina Hermoso Gómez, Antonio Martínez-Arboleda, Juan Muñoz López and Marién Pereira. Benson, P Teachers and learners perspectives on autonomy in Learner and Teacher Autonomy: Concepts, realities and responses, Lamb, T. and Reinders, H. (eds). AILA Applied Linguistics Series 1. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Crome, K., Farrar, R.and O'Connor P What is Autonomous Learning? Discourse. Vol. 9,N. 1. Available from [Accessed 25 May 2011]http://prs.heacademy.ac.uk/view.html/PrsDiscourseArticles/113 Martínez-Arboleda, A "Autonomous Learning Portfolio in Spanish: Personalised Learning and Motivation in a Regulated Learning Environment". LLAS Conference: Supporting students' learning outside the classroom: promoting independence and autonomy in LLAS disciplines. Available from [Accessed 20 May 2011]http://humbox.ac.uk/2230/ Pictures downloaded from Flickr.com (Creative Commons - Attribution Only – Non Commercial Use). Credits in order of appearance: -University of Denver: Slide 2 -Stuart Frisby: Slide 5, picture 1 (Top downloads) -Stuart Chalmers: Slide 5, picture 2 (Scottish League) -Carl Spencer: Slide 5, picture 3 (League Table) -Jason Rogers: Slide 6, picture 1 (Market) -Abshishek Sundaram: Slide 6, picture 2 (Man in Market) - Ina Bents: Slide 6, picutre 3 (Men in shop) -Photo Phoenix : Slide 6, picture 4 (Woman choosing) -Eigi: Slide 7, picture 1 (Women shopping) -University of Denver: Slide 7, picture 2 (Students) - Dave Walker: Slide 8, pictures 1 and 2 (Car factory) -Nikki McLeod: Slide 8, picture 3 (Child and car) -Jerbeck: Slide 8, picture 4 (Car) -Thai Jasmine: Slide 9, picture 1 (Girl flowers) -Shira Goldin: Slide 9, picture 2 (Be your own boss) -R. Staneck: Slide 9, picture 3 (Freedom) -Mista Boos: Slide 9, picture 4 (Suit) -Long Island Business News: Slide 9, picture 5 (Dress) -Shelley Mannion: Slide 10, picture 1 (Classroom) -Zoetnet: Slide 10, picture 2 (Man in street) -Elsie Esq: Slide 16 -Eqqman: Slide 17