All the students enrolled at the University of Parma must pass an English test which is administered by the Language Centre and attests a B1 level for bachelor’s degrees and a B2 level for master’s degrees. In order to reduce the rate of test failures and take into account students’ different levels of competence in the L2, the Language Centre has developed a new self-study programme, now integrated into the curriculum. The aim was to create an autonomy- inspired language learning environment, where students can follow personalized learning paths under the supervision of language advisors. This paper presents the structure of the programme, modelled on a co-directed and self-directed approach (Holec, 2009), where students are not only actively engaged in the management of their learning process, but also co-directed by the advisors in the phases of planning, monitoring and assessing, in a continuous process of negotiation and cooperation. The autonomous learning programme takes place in the Language Centre lab, and is mainly aimed at those students who cannot attend the academic language courses or find it hard to achieve the required level. The fundamental guiding principles are based on the idea that students, especially in a university context, learn better if they are in control of and responsible for their own learning, especially if their language needs are respected (Benson, 2011; Little, 2007; Murray, 2009). From planning to self-assessment, the learning structure takes into consideration students’ individual differences and is aimed at raising their awareness and motivation. Through reflective diary writing, small group workshops, one-to-one meetings with the advisors and mock exams during the learning process, students become more aware of their progress and their needs. Feedback from a questionnaire and test results data demonstrated the effectiveness of the programme on students’ improvements in language skills, self-learning knowledge and engagement.
|Titolo:||Fostering Autonomy in University Language Students: A Self-Study Programme.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Contributo in volume(Capitolo di libro)|