Monday, February 15, 2010

If I may, I would like to ask the members of the JASAL discussion community for recommendations of good texts related to the topic of learner autonomy. The Pedagogy Department of the university where I teach is beginning to take an interest in the subject and has asked me to supply a list of books. I'm primarily interested in texts of a general nature or ones that relate specifically to the Asian context. Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Lucy said...

Hi Elton!

Here are a few references to be going on with. I would suggest that the Holec (1981) and Benson (2001) are the seminal works.

Please post again if you'd like more or if you have any questions.

Best wishes


Barfield, A., & Brown, S. H. (Eds.). (2007). Reconstructing autonomy in language education: Inquiry and innovation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Barfield, A., & Nix, M. (Eds.). (2003). Learner and teacher autonomy in Japan 1: Autonomy you ask! Tokyo: The Learner Development Special Interest Group of JALT.

Benson, P. (2001). Teaching and researching autonomy in language learning. London: Longman.

Benson, P. (2007). Autonomy in language teaching and learning. Language Teaching, 40(1), 21-40.

Benson, P., & Voller, P. (Eds.). (1997). Autonomy and independence in language learning. Harlow: Addison Wesley Longman Ltd.

Carroll, M., Castillo, D., Cooker, L., & Irie, K. (Eds.). (2009). Proceedings of the Independent Learning Association 2007 Japan Conference (online): Exploring theory, enhancing practice: Autonomy across the disciplines. Kanda University of International Studies, Chiba, Japan, October 2007. Retrieved February 19, 2010, from

Cotterall, S., & Crabbe, D. (Eds.). (1999). Learner Autonomy in Language Learning: Defining the Field and Effecting Change (Bayreuth Contributions to Glottodidactics Vol. 8). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Holec, H. (1981). Autonomy and foreign language learning. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

Little, D. (1991). Learner autonomy: Definitions, issues and problems. Dublin: Authentik.

Palfreyman, D., & Smith, R. C. (Eds.). (2003). Learner autonomy across cultures: Language education perspectives. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Sinclair, B., McGrath, I., & Lamb, T. (Eds.). (2000). Learner autonomy, teacher autonomy: Future directions. Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd.

Skier, E. M., & Kohyama, M. (Eds.). (2006). Learner and teacher autonomy in Japan 2: More autonomy you ask! Tokyo: The Learner Development Special Interest Group of JALT.

Renee said...


Thank you, Lucy, for the extensive list of references. They certainly will be useful. I just want to add one:

Lessons from Good Language Learners(Cambridge)

In the introduction, there is a reflection on the work of (and by) Prof. Joan Rubin, the pioneer of focusing on the learner in teacher training and research in the US in the 1970s. We seem to take it for granted now that in language teaching, the student should be placed at the center. But, that was such a radical and challenging concept just a few decades ago! It will be interesting to see if our current struggles to incorporate independent learning as a component to institutions' formal language education will someday become standard. Cheers to those efforts!!

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