Defining and contextualizing language learner autonomy: theory and practice

Organised by the Learner Autonomy SIG

  • Date and time: Friday 18 June 2021, 10.00-17.00
  • Location: Crowne Plaza Harrogate, King’s Road, Harrogate, HG1 1XX
  • Cost for IATEFL members: Early bird rate: £57, Standard rate: £73  (price does not include lunch)
  • Cost for non-members: Early bird rate £70, Standard rate: £86  (price does not include lunch)


There seems to be a growing tendency for ‘autonomy’ and ‘autonomous’ to be used without much awareness of their history in language teaching theory and practice.

The 2021 PCE will address this issue. Our plenary speaker, David Little, of Trinity College Dublin, will define language learner autonomy for the 21st century, explaining where his definition comes from, how it is supported by empirically grounded theory, and what it implies for language teaching and learning, whether in classrooms, self-access centres or online learning environments.

The remainder of the day will explore the challenges that this definition is likely to pose in different educational contexts and geographical locations. An interactive poster session will provide opportunities to find out about learner autonomy projects in different countries; a workshop will introduce tried and tested approaches to motivating and empowering learners of all ages, from all backgrounds and at all proficiency levels; and a world café will give participants a chance to discuss possible solutions to the challenges they face in their particular context.

We’re looking forward to interactive discussions and to generating new ideas with you in Harrogate.


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