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Fostering the process of teacher and learner autonomy in foreign language classrooms through inquiry-in and -on practice

Micallef, Alice (2016) Fostering the process of teacher and learner autonomy in foreign language classrooms through inquiry-in and -on practice. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Nurturing teacher and learner autonomy is a prerequisite to foreign language development within institutionalised settings. This necessitates a process whereby teachers themselves become authors of their own pedagogical practice to experience and nourish their autonomy, critically reflecting on and flexibly managing processes that challenge and enable learners to develop competences as language learners and language users. The study portrays the notion of teacher and learner autonomy as two sides of the same coin, illustrating a process that enabled three teachers of German as a foreign language to inquire into the fostering of learner autonomy in secondary schools in Malta. Through a process grounded within a collaborative and inquiry-oriented approach, enacted through meetings and discussions with teachers, and the teacher inquiry with their learners in class, the study created the conditions that sought to help teachers to navigate through and gain insight into the process of fostering learner autonomy. The aims of the study, embedded within the two aforementioned processes, led teachers to problematise areas within their practice in relation to the development of learner autonomy in language learning and language use and looked into internal and external constraints and possibilities within this process. It furthermore analysed benefits that emerged from practice in this regard. Implications of this study call for the integration of inquiry-oriented processes in the foreign language classroom sustained by the collaborative space that fostered the conditions for inquiry through teachers’ own lens of pedagogy for autonomy. It illustrates how a process of teacher inquiry and reflective practice bring together the voices of all participants involved in the study; teacher, learner and myself as researcher, to work towards the vision of fostering autonomy in foreign language teaching and learning. The study furthermore serves to portray illustrations of practice to provide insight into the underlying factors and various facets of such a process within the Maltese context.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Keywords: teacher and learner autonomy, pedagogy for autonomy, teacher inquiry, reflective practice, inquiry-in and -on practice, foreign language teaching and learning, language learning and language use
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.713282
Depositing User: Ms Alice Micallef
Date Deposited: 16 May 2017 14:08
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:38
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/17137

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