Learner Autonomy and Web 2.0 - Marco Cappellini

Learner Autonomy and Web 2.0 - Marco Cappellini

'Old Concepts in New Spaces': A Model for Developing Learner Autonomy in Social Networking Spaces

Learner Autonomy and Web 2.0 - Marco Cappellini

Ward Peeters [+-]
University of Antwerp
Ward Peeters is a PhD researcher in applied linguistics at the University of Antwerp (Belgium) and is a teaching assistant at the department of English Studies at Ghent University (Belgium). He studies social network impact in foreign language learning contexts and has conducted research projects in both Belgium and South Africa as part of an extensive study on computer-supported collaborative work in higher education. His research interests include academic literacy development, the use of social media in EFL learning, peer interaction, and learner autonomy.
Christian Ludwig [+-]
University of Education Karlsruhe
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Christian Ludwig is currently substitute professor of American Studies and TEFL at the University of Education Karlsruhe (Germany) where he is also director of the Self-Access Centre and head of the English department. He earned his PhD Rites de Passage: The construction of gender identities in Alison Bechdel’s (autobio-)graphic writings from the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany) in 2015. He is coordinator of the IATEFL Learner Autonomy SIG. His research interests include learning with literature, new media and leaner autonomy.


Learner autonomy is one of the buzz words of contemporary foreign language learning. This article sets out to show the role social media – and Facebook in particular – can play in developing learner autonomy. It is assumed that social presence and social interaction in the collaborative environment of social networking sites can facilitate the development of learner autonomy. In a first step, the social dimension of learner autonomy in existing models, with a focus on Dam’s autonomous classroom interaction model (2008), will be reviewed. By analyzing qualitative and quantitative data from two Facebook projects carried out at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, it will then be shown how learners take ownership of their own learning while collaborating with others and that the ways in which they do so demand a new understanding of social interaction and collaboration in autonomous learning environments in the context of social media.

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Peeters, Ward; Ludwig, Christian. 'Old Concepts in New Spaces': A Model for Developing Learner Autonomy in Social Networking Spaces. Learner Autonomy and Web 2.0. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 115-140 Apr 2017. ISBN 9781781795972. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=32709. Date accessed: 25 Jun 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.32709. Apr 2017

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