By Carol J. Everhard, Linda Murphy (eds.)
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Extra info for Assessment and Autonomy in Language Learning
Kumaravadivelu (2003, p. 144) believes that autonomy requires ‘careful study’ and ‘continual struggle’. , 2007, p. 4, authors’ emphasis). One way in which teachers might be empowered to challenge the status quo in education, and which might simultaneously empower 26 The Assessment-Autonomy Relationship their learners, is through changing attitudes and altering practices with regard to assessment. It is clear that this would demand a great deal of time and an inordinate amount of effort simply because attitudes towards testing, evaluation and assessment (TEA) are so deeply ingrained within the mindset of individuals and the culture of the community within which they operate (Harris, 1997, p.
And the ELP by the Council of Europe, in the name of autonomy, selfassessment and lifelong learning, the ‘can-do statements’ on which such importance has been placed, while useful as a measure of language competence, do not, in any way allow measurement of the degree of autonomy achieved. Another interesting issue is raised by Sinclair (1999b, pp. 95–96), one of the few researchers to tackle the issue of measuring autonomy. She equates it with ‘wrestling with a jelly’ and points out that it might be dangerous to try and measure autonomy based purely on observable behaviours.
They regard it as a useful skill which can be cultivated gradually and which learners will also be able to apply in other aspects of their lives. Little (1999c, p. 6) believes that reflection sparks Carol J. Everhard 31 ‘initiative’, which, in turn, sparks the beginnings of ‘learner control’. Indeed, Little (1999a, p. 27) sees the job of schooling as not only providing learners with knowledge, but providing them with the wherewithal to be able to critically question that knowledge. In the case of (foreign) language learning, there is the possible advantage that the target language can be used as the medium and tool for reflection, if the learners choose to do so (see Murphy, Chapter 6).
Assessment and Autonomy in Language Learning by Carol J. Everhard, Linda Murphy (eds.)