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The social development of autonomy in the self-access centre

The social development of autonomy in the self-access centre
The social development of autonomy in the self-access centre
Being an autonomous learner has been of great interest to researchers. Recently, there has been an increased interest to understand how students as agents of their learning process can develop autonomy in social settings. The Social-Cultural Theory has some answers because particular attention is given to the learner's active role and the social context where learning occurs. Thus, autonomy from this social approach is conceived as a result of the social learning process that contributes to developing it. Therefore, this qualitative study is guided by the Socio-Cultural theoretical approach, and it focuses on how students develop autonomy in social contexts like the Self- Access Centre. By this means, it can be that there is a complex interaction, a non-linear non directional interaction between various social processes that lead students to create and shape different learning networks using elements such as agency, interaction, scaffolding, activities, and the learning environment that contribute to the development of their language learning autonomy. Questionnaires were distributed amongst SAC students to investigate these processes. The respondents were from all the undergraduate university programs. These students attended the facility to improve or to practice their English communicative language skills. Additional research instruments such as videos, recordings, interviews, and observations were used. During a period of five months, the participants were observed working at the SAC. Their actions were video recorded to gain some insight while carrying out the activities in the SAC. Counsellors, part-time teachers, English assistants also responded to questionnaires, interviews explicitly designed for them. Data was analysed using the NVivo 12 and Gephi software. The study results show that, to a certain extent, the learning networks emerge from learners’ interactions that contribute to the development of learning autonomy through a dialogical process of meaning construction with others. The findings corroborated that several elements as agency, scaffolding, interaction, and others are intertwined to build up a structure that acts out as a framework within the activities they carry out exercising their agency. The activities facilitate the interaction between learners enabling them to adapt their learning themselves. Nevertheless, further studies are needed to disclose how learning networks emerge in the interaction process that enables learner autonomy to take place.
University of Southampton
Carrillo Acosta, Julieta
0201af2e-110e-4038-a6ae-8f91b9b01df3
Carrillo Acosta, Julieta
0201af2e-110e-4038-a6ae-8f91b9b01df3
Archibald, Alasdair
15b56a58-87df-4322-8367-70f4daff3f42
Dickens, Alison
21ec2a81-d097-42b1-8711-9744601f1886

Carrillo Acosta, Julieta (2022) The social development of autonomy in the self-access centre. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 220pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Being an autonomous learner has been of great interest to researchers. Recently, there has been an increased interest to understand how students as agents of their learning process can develop autonomy in social settings. The Social-Cultural Theory has some answers because particular attention is given to the learner's active role and the social context where learning occurs. Thus, autonomy from this social approach is conceived as a result of the social learning process that contributes to developing it. Therefore, this qualitative study is guided by the Socio-Cultural theoretical approach, and it focuses on how students develop autonomy in social contexts like the Self- Access Centre. By this means, it can be that there is a complex interaction, a non-linear non directional interaction between various social processes that lead students to create and shape different learning networks using elements such as agency, interaction, scaffolding, activities, and the learning environment that contribute to the development of their language learning autonomy. Questionnaires were distributed amongst SAC students to investigate these processes. The respondents were from all the undergraduate university programs. These students attended the facility to improve or to practice their English communicative language skills. Additional research instruments such as videos, recordings, interviews, and observations were used. During a period of five months, the participants were observed working at the SAC. Their actions were video recorded to gain some insight while carrying out the activities in the SAC. Counsellors, part-time teachers, English assistants also responded to questionnaires, interviews explicitly designed for them. Data was analysed using the NVivo 12 and Gephi software. The study results show that, to a certain extent, the learning networks emerge from learners’ interactions that contribute to the development of learning autonomy through a dialogical process of meaning construction with others. The findings corroborated that several elements as agency, scaffolding, interaction, and others are intertwined to build up a structure that acts out as a framework within the activities they carry out exercising their agency. The activities facilitate the interaction between learners enabling them to adapt their learning themselves. Nevertheless, further studies are needed to disclose how learning networks emerge in the interaction process that enables learner autonomy to take place.

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Published date: May 2022

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 457183
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/457183
PURE UUID: 769580bd-ce23-44c7-9ecd-9291a1c49244

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Date deposited: 26 May 2022 16:33
Last modified: 26 May 2022 16:41

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Contributors

Author: Julieta Carrillo Acosta
Thesis advisor: Alasdair Archibald
Thesis advisor: Alison Dickens

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