Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Developing Learner Autonomy through a Virtual EAP Course at University

Elisabet Arnó i Macià, Carmen Rueda Ramos, Antonia Soler Cervera, Clàudia Barahona Fuentes

Resum


This article centres on students’ participation in the virtual EAP course “English for Academic Purposes: Learning English through the Web” and reports on a qualitative study that aims at describing their profile as autonomous learners. This course, with a strong emphasis on the use of Internet resources for language learning, was devised with two main aims: to help students develop their language and communication skills and, especially, to foster learner autonomy, a requisite in distance learning.
To this end, students’ views and attitudes on language-related matters as well as the actions they undertook related to the management of their own learning were analysed in an attempt to provide an accurate picture of their capacity to direct their own learning. The results show that students are able to perform a number of self-directed learning actions and to express a variety of views on language and learning. They can also use the metalanguage presented in course activities in order to create their own definitions and come to conclusions on their role as language learners. The paper concludes with some implications and points to further research that may arise from these findings.

Text complet: PDF