Learner autonomy and teacher autonomy: Synthesising an agenda

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Despite a shift in the field of learner autonomy towards a consideration of the role of the teacher and ways in which learner autonomy is bound up not only with the learners’ but also the teachers’ own learning and teaching experiences and their beliefs about autonomy, the interrelationships between the concepts are still largely unclear. This is due in part to the relatively short history of work in the field which, despite the emergence of some consensus in defining the concepts, has revealed ever-increasing levels of complexity as the multifarious nature of the contexts, drivers and manifestations of autonomy, both teacher and learner, becomes ever more apparent. The chapters in this book have individually considered either discrete or interrelated elements of learner and teacher autonomy in language learning. The purpose of this concluding chapter is to attempt to draw together the various strands which emerge in the book as a whole, and offer a synthesis of the driving question which the book was intended to address, namely where and how, if at all, the concepts of learner autonomy and teacher autonomy relate to each other. In doing so, the chapter will necessarily clarify what is meant by these two concepts.


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