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SYMPOSIUM ABSTRACTS

Yea-Fen Chen, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Building a learning community & developing learner autonomy

I will first discuss the importance of building a supportive learning community in developing learner autonomy, and then present the specific strategies which can be employed to develop a rapport among students and steps to help students take charge of their own learning both inside and outside the classroom.

Graham Crookes, University of Hawaii
On the interface between critical/alternative pedagogy and autonomous/self-directed S/FL learning

Self-Directed Learning embodies a critique of mainstream education
relating to the freedom of the individual and how educational systems
treat that. In this it overlaps with approaches to education headed
"alternative/critical/radical". This paper reviews published literature in
these areas to explore the implications of this overlap or interface for
S/FL learning and teaching.
Graham Crookes, University of Hawai'i, & William Savage, Asian Institute of Technology
Teachers as autonomous learners in a workshop on self-directed learning

The workshop evaluator and one of its resource person-facilitators collaborate as action researchers on a study of the NFLRC Summer Institute Workshop. The research questions are: (1)  What were the pro-autonomy fatures of the workshop approach, framework, and practice? (2) How did participants experience autonomy? (3) What did they learn about participant-learner autonomy?
Erica Gilson, Princeton University
Creative writing in the target language: An enabling activity?


The objective of the presentation is to reassess the role of creative writing in the language acquisition process. Writing produced outside the classroom collected during a two year Turkish language sequence will be discussed. Inspired by ‘engaging’ assignments on the WWW, learners appear to spend more time-on-task in the target language, and acquire more language in
the process.
Fabio Girelli-Carasi, CUNY-Brooklyn College
"OGGI E DOMANI" : A fully interactive Italian language course online

Supported by a grant from Title VI of the U.S. Department of Education, "OGGI E DOMANI" is a fully interactive multimedia course consisting of 20 lessons, sound file, images, dozens of exercises, search engine for lexical items, grammar files etc. It can be used by self-taught individuals for self-paced study, or can provide the blueprint for a regular classroom course, with individual reinforcement. It uses hundreds of links to ‘real life’ websites, for exposure to genuine materials and introduction to the culture.

George Gutsche, University of Arizona
Technology and learner autonomy: New perspectives

The presentation surveys past efforts in technology-based language teaching and learning, and then focuses on new developments in technology and their promise for self-paced autonomous language learning. A principal concern throughout is assessment of the effectiveness of technology- (and learning style-) based methods for language instruction.

Tsung-yuan Hsiao, National Taiwan Ocean University
Investigating use of Likert scales in language learning strategy research

This study compares four methods of Likert scales for assessing language learning strategies. Results from confirmatory factor analysis show that the 6-point scale outperformed the 2-point, 4-point, and 5-point scales. It is interesting to report that the 4-point scale performed better than the 5-point scale.

George Jacobs, SEAMEO Regional Language Centre
Toward autonomy via cooperative learning

Autonomy does not have to mean learning alone. This presentation explains how student-student interaction can facilitate second language acquisition and help students become less reliant on teachers. Cooperative learning offers a tested approach to organizing student-student interaction. Key principles of cooperative learning are presented and exemplified.

Similarities between groups of students and workplace groups
Using cooperative learning techniques, the presenter will summarize and elaborate on similarities between workplace groups and classroom groups.

Carol Kinahan, Birkbeck College
Communication strategies: How they may help learners notice the gaps in their interlanguage

This paper reports on a study of a learner's identification of her communication strategies during an L2 conversation. The study focused on the learner's communication strategies with a native-speaker tutor. The findings demonstrate the usefulness of the learner's analysis of her own language and how this type of analysis can promote learner autonomy.
Felicity Kjisik, and Joan Nordlund, Helsinki University
From here to autonomy: An adaptable approach for universities

This paper describes autonomous learning at Helsinki University. Students define objectives, plan programmes and keep reflective logs. Support is provided through learner awareness-raising, counseling, support groups and auxiliary materials. Such support we feel is the key to successful autonomous learning environments. Our research focuses on changing attitudes and counseling.

Yoko Koike, Haverford College
Developing autonomy of learning in a project-based, telecommunications-focused course in advanced Japanese

Communication via the Internet with real people and with its vast information resources can stimulate autonomy of learning among advanced learners of Japanese. I will discuss the processes involved in such projects, and the crucial issues of feedback and assessment of their work.

Rainer Kussler, Stellenbosch University
How to achieve learner autonomy in a CALL environment

The paper addresses the question how and in how far learner autonomy can be achieved in a CALL context. A short outline of basic requirements of learner autonomy precedes the discussion. The main part of the paper checks these requirements against the potentiality of state-of-the-art CALL technology.

Phyllis Larson, St. Olaf College
Developing content-based instructional modules for Japanese in a Web environment

This presentation will describe how faculty at St. Olaf College, Earlham College and Kenyon College are collaborating to develop thematic, content-based modules for the Web and on CD-ROM for use at each institution. By means of a Webboard, the project will link students of Japanese on all three campuses in integrated, Web-based and email discussions that will eventually be extended to include partner classes of native speakers in Japan.
Tim Murphey, Nanzan University
Innovative strategies for increasing autonomy

Framed within socio-cultural theory, three sets of procedures which greatly augment students autonomy will be demonstrated with participants and on video: shadowing and summarizing, near peer role modeling (NPRM), and videoing conversations for self evaluation (VCSE). Together these strategies span from micro- to macrogenetic and increase balanced interdependent socialization.

Rebecca Oxford, University of Alabama
Language learning strategies in the context of autonomy

This paper shows how language learning strategies fit into the autonomy context, particularly with reference to the social-cognitive theory of Lev Vygotsky and later applications of this theory to the foreign/second language field (Little, 1998; Scarcella & Oxford, 1992, forthcoming). The paper presents results of international research studies using the "Strategy Inventory for Language Learning." The variance in language proficiency explained by learning strategy use was as high as 58% in multiple regression studies. Correlation and ANOVA/MANOVA studies also showed strong strategy-proficiency relationships. The paper mentions strategy findings by gender, age, and cultural beliefs and concludes with future research priorities for learning strategies and autonomy.

Alan Peterka, University of Iowa
Pinyin practice Web pages demonstration

Pinyin is one of the most widely used romanization systems of Chinese. Many students have trouble practicing the sound-symbol relations on their own. Students claim they lack the necessary self-correction skills. These web pages attempt to meet the needs of students by offering immediate evaluation of their performance.
Vasu Renganathan, University of Pennsylvania
Developing the skill for fast reading with interactive Web exercises

This presentation walks the audience through a number of web pages created for developing the skill for fast reading involving non-Roman script. It uses JavaScript and a number of animated gifs to demonstrate how the fast reading of Tamil text can be achieved in a number of stages starting from recognition of script to reading larger amounts of text.  
Carsten Roever, University of Hawai'i
Web-based language testing: Opportunities and challenges

This session will provide an overview of the opportunities the WWW offers for language testing in various contexts (self-assessment in distance learning, placement testing, achievement testing). Problems specific to this testing medium and the possibilities it offers for contextualized, communicative language testing will be discussed.

Craig Rodine, Open University (UK)
Autonomous language learning is strongly supported by Internet voice conferencing

Distance language learners have myriad opportunities to practice using a target language, both synchronously and asynchronously. This paper describes research into the use of voice-over-Internet conferencing technology and, based on the findings of these investigations, offers suggestions as to how it can be used to develop and support autonomous learners.

Emi Sakamoto-Jog, Carleton University
A manual of "Self-
Directed Language Learning Activities"

This paper describes a "learner-centred" pedagogical approach to teach Japanese as a foreign language using the manual called "Self-Directed Language Learning Activities." Under this approach, the students set their own goals in order to meet their individual needs.

William Savage, Asian Institute of Technology
Assessing learner autonomy and language learning

The presentation problematizes the interdependent issues of how learner autonomy can be assessed, and how the learning of language can be measured in a manner consisten with a critical pedagogy that explicitly promotes learner autonomy. The context is a pre-masters language program at the Asian Institute of Technology near Bangkok.
Richard Schmidt, University of Hawai'i
Motivation, strategies, pedagogy, and autonomy

Results will be presented from a quantitative study of 2,000 learners of Japanese, Spanish, French, Tagalog/Filipino, and Chinese at the University of Hawaii, together with several related studies using qualitative methodology. In each of these studies the focus was on finding links between the ways in which learners are motivated (or not), the kinds of learning strategies they report using, and the ways in which they react to pedagogical options. Each of these components of the learning matrix will be discussed in relationship to learner autonomy.
Spratt Mary, & Gillian Humphreys, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Teachers' and students' contributions to learner autonomy in the classroom

This study investigated the relationship between student and teacher attitudes toward learner autonomy and their practice of it. The findings show that students often did not translate their attitudes into behaviour, with motivation being one of the main intervening factors. It also found both similarities and discrepancies between student and teacher responses. These findings have implications for how teachers can encourage autonomy in the classroom.
Madeline Spring, University of Colorado, Boulder
Creating individualized instruction of Chinese: Some high and low tech models

I will present models for curricula design that emphasize learner-centered, individualized approach to learning Chinese. Presentation of a recent project using Libra authoring software will be included to show how such computer-based materials can facilitate individual, self-paced learners.

Sarah Withee, Macalester College
Using the computer to teach Japanese letter writing skills

The Guide to Writing Letters in Japanese is a computer program designed for self-paced study of writing letters in Japanese. It contains a reference guide to writing letters as well as a letter-writing assistant students can use to help them compose letters.
Xunfeng Xu, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Use of on-line English/Chinese bilingual texts for learning legal English

This paper describes how an on-line corpus of English/Chinese bilingual texts is introduced into the course of Legal and Documentary English for students of translation in Hong Kong. The experiment brings to light different attitudes, diversified experience and interesting results of the language learners in their use of corpus data and on-line concordances.

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