When we are learning English, we can’t always rely on the teacher to guide us in every single way. We also need to have the determination to spend long periods of time outside of class improving our skills, especially in areas of weakness. We need to develop ‘learner autonomy’.
This basically means that the learner is in control of their own learning. We can be active, and thinking about our own strategies and motivation, rather than passive and waiting for the knowledge to be given to us.
Henri Holec said it himself: ‘Autonomy is the ability to take charge of one’s own learning’.
There are a number of ways we can take control of our learning, but the most important is developing a learning schedule. For most students at a language school studying English in Melbourne or any of the other major cities in Australia, there are a lot of opportunities to develop one’s English proficiency after the four hours of class with a teacher each day.
If you draw up your week in a table, you can add some activities to your langauge learning calendar:
- Have a part time job which uses English
- Attend language exchanges once or twice a week
- Go out with housemates from your share house on the weekend
If you are thinking that you don’t know about any of these, then click on the links and find out more about how to do them! Learner autonomy starts from today.
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