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ERIC Number: EJ1140656
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Learner Autonomy as a Social Construct in the Context of "Italki"
Teaching English with Technology, v17 n2 p3-28 2017
The article looks at language learner autonomy as a social construct in relation to the context and its user based on the example of "Italki", a social networking site for tandem language learning. Considering the two foci--the context and the learner--the study is divided into two parts, both carried out from the perspective of online ethnography, each utilising different techniques and tools. Part 1, based on participatory observation and user experience of the author, was aimed at investigating the context of "Italki" as a language learning environment. Its affordances, noted in the course of the study, are analysed against the three aspects of social learner autonomy (Murray 2014): emotional, political, and spatial, in order to investigate the potential of Italki for interdependent learning. In Part 2 of the study, with its focus on the learner, the data were gathered by means of semi-structured open-ended interviews with "Italki" users (N = 10). One of these interviews evolved into a case study, in which elements of social network analysis (SNA) were utilized to look at learner autonomy of an individual user. The results of the study indicate that learner autonomy in the digital age can be both self- and other-regulated; characterized by learner independence as well as interdependence. All this is very much promoted by new tendencies in language learning and affordances offered by the new media. At the same time, though, the nature of the autonomy exercised will, to a large extent, be determined by individual learner agendas, motives and attitudes.
Descriptors: Personal Autonomy, Second Language Learning, Ethnography, Social Networks, Computer Mediated Communication, Independent Study, Case Studies, Network Analysis, Self Management, Learning Motivation, Semi Structured Interviews, Graphs, Second Language Instruction, English (Second Language), Foreign Countries
IATEFL Poland Computer Special Interest Group / University of Nicosia / Maria Curie-Sklodowska University. Ul. J. Sowinskiego 17, 20-041 Lublin, Poland. Web site: http://tewtjournal.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Poland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A