La Rivista per l'insegnamento e l'apprendimento delle lingue

Learner autonomy in language programmes for adult immigrants: what, why and how


David Little

Nel suo contributo l’autore descrive come sono stati sviluppati dei corsi di lingua per migranti in Irlanda, corsi nei quali si cerca di sviluppare sistematicamente l’autonomia degli apprendenti. I partecipanti vengono coinvolti nella formulazione degli obiettivi, nella scelta delle attività e dei materiali d’apprendimento. Un approccio – introdotto con successo in Irlanda – che presenta molti punti in comune con quello seguito dal progetto fide.

The author begins this article by summarizing an approach to language learning and teaching that assigns a central role to learners’ agency: their capacity to take decisions, act on them, and evaluate the outcomes. He then explains how this approach shaped the work of Integrate Ireland Language and Training (IILT), a not-for-profit campus company of Trinity College Dublin that was funded by the Irish government from 2000 to 2008 to provide intensive English language programmes for adult refugees admitted to Ireland. He describes some of the ways in which IILT fostered the autonomy of its students ­– involving them, for example, in setting objectives and selecting learning activities and materials – and illustrates typical learning achievement by quoting what one learner wrote when she was about to leave IILT’s Galway school. The author concludes by arguing that the resources developed by the fide project can support the development of similar learner-centred, autonomy-enhancing language courses for immigrants admitted to Switzerland.

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