Learner autonomy and awareness through distance collaborative group work in English for Academic Purposes
Document typePart of book or chapter of book
Rights accessOpen Access
Learner autonomy is considered to be both an important skill and attitude of learners, which involves responsibility for and control of the learning process. A key notion in autonomy is interdependence, developed through collaboration and which results in heightened awareness. Precisely, this concept lies at the core of technology applications, which facilitate interaction and collaboration at a distance. With a growing number of online ESP situations, more attention needs to be paid to virtual classrooms and the development of learner autonomy through collaboration. In the context of a distance EAP course, this chapter examines how students carry out a collaborative language awareness task, considering that peer interaction can be an appropriate setting to develop language awareness, whether in face-to-face or online situations. Based on the framework of 'community of inquiry' (Garrison et al. 2000), this study looks at how group members interact through forum posts and wiki edits, showing how students initiate, manage and carry out the task, together with the social, cognitive, and meta-cognitive processes that are generated. Given the nature of the task, creating a language learning activity, special attention is paid to students’ focus on and discussion of topics related to language and learning. From these observations we can derive implications for online language teaching and materials design.
The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-40956-6_13
CitationArno, E. Learner autonomy and awareness through distance collaborative group work in English for Academic Purposes. A: "Essential competencies for English-medium university teaching". Berlín: Springer, 2017, p. 183-200.