The paper intends to summarize the article “Through autonomy to agency: Giving power to language learners” (Hunter and Cooke, 2007) and make the concept of autonomy clearer via the term agency. Moreover, some important issues are raised about the language learners and there are the solutions as well at this paper.
Key words: autonomy, learner advantage, dependence, agency
Autonomy has become more important in language education in recent year. According to Chan (2003: p.47-8), autonomy includes the ability of a learner to work independently, taking responsibilities for all aspects of the learning experience and making learners more self-reliant. Moreover, with reference to Hunter and Cooke (2007: p.72) autonomy is also an acting independently. For example, Cotterall (2004: p.1), see autonomy as developing learner ‘confidence in their own ability to learn independently’. In addition, autonomy is regarded as ‘the capacity to take control of one’s own learning’ (Bension 2001: p.47), “learning willingness and ability to manage their learning for themselves’ (Cotterall 2004: p.1), and Macro (1997: p.169) claims that autonomy is a concept that puts emphasis on “developing potential in the learner, on how s/he can use it to operate more effectively”. On the other hand, other writers, for instance, Sinclair (2000: p.11-12) sees autonomy can take place both inside and outside the classroom, and has a social as well as an individual dimension. In particular, Little (2000: 16) emphasizes on learning “individual cognition is embedded in process of social interaction”
According to Hunter and Cooke (2007: p.74) other learners have not had their own strategies for language learning, just followed the instructions and teachers’ demands, and therefore they work together to finish their assignments, both in and out of the classroom. That is a socially co-constructed relationship as their efforts to use the...