From Learner Autonomy to Rewilding: A Discussion
David G Little [+]
Trinity College Dublin (Emeritus)
Steven L Thorne [+]
Portland State University
Interview with David Little and Steve L. Thorne conducted by Tim Lewis, on 28th November 2016. The advent of networked digital technologies, in enabling language learners to collaborate and create content online, has given rise to new ways in which learners are able to express their autonomy. Learner Autonomy and Web 2.0 explores tensions between the 'classical' definitions of learner autonomy and the learning dynamics observed in specific online contexts. Some of the contributions argue for the emergence of actual new forms of autonomy, others consider that this is merely a case of ‘old wine in new bottles’. The volume is influenced by Leni Dam’s view that activity is located in physical, rather than virtual classrooms. Her work with early language learners suggests that autonomy emerges and develops in a complex relationship with L2 proficiency and other competencies. The volume takes an expansive view of what was meant by Web 2.0 and, as a result, a wide diversity of environments is featured, ranging from adaptive learning systems, through mobile apps, to social networking sites and - almost inevitably - MOOCs.