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Www.britishcouncil.org1 Redirecting Multiple Intelligences theory: Moving towards learner autonomy - in young learners.

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Presentation on theme: "Www.britishcouncil.org1 Redirecting Multiple Intelligences theory: Moving towards learner autonomy - in young learners."— Presentation transcript:

1 Redirecting Multiple Intelligences theory: Moving towards learner autonomy - in young learners.

2 Overview ○ Learner Autonomy (LA) – definition and a very brief history ○ Agency within ELT and its relationship to LA ○ Intelligence in general and how it pertains to the individual ○ Multiple Intelligence theory applied to promote LA / agency

3 3 Learner Autonomy What does Learner Autonomy mean to you? What do Learners need to become Autonomous?

4 A brief history of Autonomy First begins to appear in language learning literature in the 1970’s Has origins in “distance learning” and a series of texts about traditional education Seminal texts “Autonomy and Foreign Language Learning” - Holec 1979 “Learner Autonomy: Definitions, Issues and Problems” - Little 1991 Pedagogy of the Oppressed – Freire, 1970 Teaching as a Subversive Activity – Postman, Weingartner, 1971 Deschooling Society – Illich, 1973 From Communication to Curriculum – Barnes, 1975

5 5 A brief history of Autonomy It is a key concept within the Council of Europe’s CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ) The Language learning for European citizenship project produced the drafts for the CEFR and the European Language Portfolio

6 Learner Autonomy 1.Autonomy is self-instruction i.e. no need for a teacher. 2.Autonomy is the ability to take charge of one’s learning. 3.Autonomy is destroyed by teacher control. 4.Learner Autonomy is a methodology we can plan into our classes. 5.Autonomy is a capacity for critical reflection and independent action. 6.Autonomy is easy to define and quantify 7.Once Autonomy is obtained in language learning, it can easily be applied to any other area. 2 and 5 are our working definitions coming from Holec and Little 1,3,4,6 and 7 are common misconceptions as described by Little

7 Prerequisites for Learner Autonomy Agency From the first slide our second question was: What do our leaners require to become more autonomous? Motivation - interest / commitment “Know-how” - guidance / ability

8 Agency? NOT THAT TYPE.

9 Agency Agency refers to the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices within a social setting. agency n ….refers to the capacity for human beings to make meaningful choices and take responsibility for their decisions and actions…

10 Agency in language learning – What does it require? social setting Individuals choice and responsibility...agency is always a social event that does not take place in a void or in an empty wilderness. Agency in the classroom van Lier, L. 2008

11 Agency Agency cannot exist in a vacuum. We as teachers must provided our students with a space which promotes their budding agency within the field of language learning. This is the first step on the long road to learner autonomy.

12 A community of equal individuals in our classrooms.

13 NOT automatons!

14 Agency and autonomy Another question 1.How would you now explain the relationship between agency and autonomy?

15 The agency autonomy dynamic

16 Agency and Autonomy

17 Moving along – a brief word on intelligence before moving on to Multiple Intelligences

18 So says Sir Ken Robinson We know three things about intelligence: One it's diverse. …we think visually, we think in sound, we think kinaesthetically, we think in abstract terms…. Secondly intelligence is dynamic. … Intelligence is wonderfully interactive, the brain isn't divided into compartments. And the third thing about intelligence is it's distinct. (Robinson K TED talk)

19 Our learners are snowflakes.

20 There´s no one word for intelligence in Irish

21 Enter Multiple Intelligences theory (MI) “An intelligence is the ability to solve problems, or to create products, that are valued within one or more cultural settings.” Gardner H. introduction to Frames of Mind: Theory of multiple intelligences. Basic Press,

22 Social settings you say?

23 Learning style, thinking style and MI

24 Mix and match

25 The answers

26 MI and LA Do you think MI fits the bill to promote LA? If so, how? If not, what else would you use to promote LA?

27 MI and individuals “…Getting students to explore the concept of different intelligences can be a real eye opener for them.” Making Students aware of Different Intelligences: Herbert Puchta (Teaching Tip #6)

28 Not just opening their eyes, putting it in their hands!

29 Learners and their unique MI profile

30 MI as the learners Prerogative

31

32 Put MI in their hands! You won’t regret it!

33 AU language lab aulanguagelab.wordpress.com

34 Recap Autonomy – what it is and what it isn´t Agency – again a definition and why it´s important in ELT

35 Recap Intelligence and the individual MI as traditionally understood briefly explained MI as a means to engender agency and autonomy in Young Learners

36 A final question Why work towards learner autonomy, what´s the end-game? “L2 learners are no longer viewed as individuals working on their own to construct the target language but very much as social agents collaborating with other people and using the tools and resources available to them in their surrounding environment” Kalaja et al 2011 p.47 Kalaja, P., R. Alanen, Å. Palviainen & H. Dufva From milk cartons to English roommates: Context and agency in L2 learning beyond the classroom. In P. Benson & H. Reinders (eds.), Beyond the language classroom. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 47–58.


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