The University of Manchester
This study describes the use and assesses the benefits of a virtual learning environment (VLE)-enhanced independent language learning program (ILLP), based on the WebCT platform, for three groups of first- and second-year Italian students. It considers the positive outcomes of the program for the students� learning abilities. These outcomes suggest that the program�s online element helps improve the quality of students� independent work, as well as their learning motivation: not only do students seem to develop better language skills, they also acquire and develop precious transferable skills. Similar success has been identified with a pilot VLE scheme used to support prescribed homework activities for first-year students. Findings suggest that VLE-supported group work produces better results than individual, non-VLE-enhanced work. So the VLE has come to assume an irreplaceable pedagogic role within the language courses, producing significantly more positive results than a traditional classroom-based approach.
WebCT, Language Learning, Language Skills, Independent Learning, Group Work
This study assesses the factors which enable a virtual learning environment (VLE)-enhanced independent language learning program (ILLP) to have an optimal positive impact on learners' performance on the basis of student experiences within Italian Studies at the University of Manchester. The study is based on the analysis both of oral student feedback obtained through end-of-year interviews and written student feedback obtained through evaluation questionnaires completed by students at the end of the academic year 2004-2005.
Typically, Italian Studies at the University of Manchester has an intake of 40-50 students per year, some 75% of whom have pre-A-level Italian (not necessarily complete beginners and always possessing knowledge of another foreign language to A-level or equivalent), with the vast majority taking Italian in combination with another honors degree subject—usually another language. These pre-A-level students join a beginner's course in Italian (group 1a). The remaining 25% who already have an A-level or equivalent qualification in Italian join an intermediate course (group 1b). In their second year of study, 1a students progress to 2a and 1b students progress to 2b. The program for 2a is similar in many respects to 1b, although not identical.1 The program for 2b is almost exclusively centered on tandem learning, with one staff contact hour per week.2
In 2002, Italian Studies was the first department in the School of Modern Languages at the University of Manchester3to launch an ILLP. The aim of the program was to offer first- and second-year students (groups 1a, 1b, and 2a) the possibility of working independently on their language acquisition in order to help them meet the total of 200 or 400 hours of study required by their core language courses.4 In this respect, the program fostered autonomous learning as conceptualized by Henri Holec (1981), who described autonomy as “the ability to take charge of one's own learning” (p. 3).5 The program was delivered through the online VLE WebCT, which students were required to use to produce a portfolio of activities and to interact with each other (see Figures 1 and 2).
ILLP Opening Page (2002)
ILLP Features (2002)
Another fundamental aspect of the ILLP was to help students reflect on their language learning to the extent that they would be able to recognize their weak and strong learning areas and devise a strategy to improve the former, in line with Scharle and Szabó's approach (2000), “when we encourage students to focus on the process of their learning … we help them consciously examine their own contribution to their learning” (p. 7). In these authors' view, this attitude has beneficial effects on the fostering of a responsible attitude towards autonomy. Within the ILLP, students were asked to fill in an initial self-evaluation questionnaire in which they described their experience learning a foreign language at the start of the program and a final evaluation form in which they described the activities they carried out and assessed the general effectiveness of the ILLP at the end of the program. Students were also offered tutorial guidance in the form of two optional one-to-one meetings with their language tutor, one meeting per semester.
Initially, the ILLP was introduced as a pilot scheme and was not fully embedded in the curriculum. The conception of the ILLP as a separate component from the core language course had implications for the uptake of the project on the part of the students. In 2002, in fact, none of the students took part in it, proving the CIEL Language Support Network's statement (2000) that “the most crucial element [for successful independent language learning] is thedegree of integration of independent learning with the language curriculum. If the links are not in place, only the most dedicated of learners will prioritise independent learning in order to take charge of their own future.”
It was therefore recognized that for ILLPs to work, they needed to constitute an integral part of the language courses to which they contributed. Further, to maximize ILLPs' benefits, it was decided to introduce both summative and qualitative assessment with effect from 2003 because it was recognized, again in line with
CIEL's (2000) findings, that “intrinsic motivation may not be enough to encourage learners to prioritise independent learning activities. An element of formative and summative assessment is [therefore] generally seen as a solution.”
In other respects, however, the program's content remained substantially unchanged in 2003. Students were required to produce a portfolio of work, comprising six activities for each semester: group 1a began compiling their portfolio in the second semester of the academic year, groups 1b and 2a in the first semester. Activities were selected from a menu in which each activity was presented explicitly as a suggested task that students could adapt according to their learning needs (see below for details of activities).6 Although the limited nature of this menu arguably compromised students' independence, it was felt that both the activities and the time frame would provide students (especially groups 1a and 1b) with a starting platform from which they could eventually depart and produce self-directed work. In this respect, the degree to which the students structured their learning independently varied according to their ability and inclination to select which activities they decided to undertake, to adapt them as appropriate, and to manage their time well enough to meet the submission dates for their completed portfolios. These same principles have continued to underpin the program and have contributed to its success.
Improved understanding of the program's potential, on the part of both teaching staff and students, caused the ILLP's popularity to rise dramatically in 2003: in the subsequent two years, student use has neared 80%.7 For group 1a, this success is also partly due to the program having been moved forward in 2004—to begin in the second half of the first semester—as a result of positive feedback from students. Students in group 1a are now able to begin work on their ILLP, and thereby draw maximum benefit from the program, as soon as they have established a minimum amount of confidence in the target language (TL) and in their learning abilities.
THE ONLINE FORMAT
The WebCT platform has proved to be an ideal tool for the delivery of the ILLP, and the entire program is currently managed online. This VLE tool is widely used across the institution to enhance a variety of different courses, and infrastructural support is thus guaranteed. As more advanced versions of WebCT are introduced across the campus, permitting the integration of other interactive tools, the ILLP will be able to develop further. For instance, by integrating the Wimba voice tool, language teachers will be able to enhance the role of speaking and listening tasks within the portfolio.
Whether they are introduced to the ILLP early in their first semester or halfway through it, students are given apractical hands-on introduction to WebCT which explains how the platform works as well as what the ILLP entails. The first reaction to both WebCT and the ILLP is usually mixed since students initially perceive them as elements alien to their previous learning experiences. As they grow accustomed to these elements, however, experience indicates that students develop a keen interest in the VLE-enhanced program because it empowers them
to intervene actively in the course and to be proactively responsible for their own learning.8
SUGGESTED ONLINE ACTIVITIES
Students are expected both to participate in directed online activities and to complete tasks tailored to their personal needs as learners. It is also essential for students to keep a record of these activities in their portfolio, so that they are able to take stock of their progress in the TL after one year. The suggested activities have been developed according to the four basic language learning skills and are gauged according to the syllabus of each core course. Therefore, some activities suggested in semester 1 would be replaced in semester 2 by activities similar in kind but of increasing difficulty. It is not compulsory for students to carry out all of the suggested activities. Indeed, students often complete two or three activities from the list and subsequently move on to activities which they devise themselves, based on their learning priorities.
Examples of online activities include: asking a grammar question posted on the WebCT forum (to which another student may provide an answer), watching videos and completing associated worksheets, completing grammar exercises distributed via the internet, and reading or listening to news items in different media (see Figures 3 and 4).
Example of Activities for 1a Students
Example of Activities for 1b and 2a Students
Students' comments suggest that the online activities act as an incentive to spend more time working on the TL. In fact, the use of the VLE not only enables students to access the program at any time, it also inspires ideas fordevising new and personalized tasks. The ultimate objective of the suggested activities is to provide an ongoing point of reference, according to which students can devise their own activities and gradually acquire an increasing degree of independence.
INITIAL BENEFITS OF THE VLE-ENHANCED ILLP
The avowed aims of the online program are: first, to allow students to consolidate and enhance what they have learned through formal timetabled classes; second, to give students experience in managing their own learning (through managing their own time, identifying their strengths and weaknesses, setting their own targets, and reflecting on their achievements); and, third, to give students confidence in using IT as a learning tool.
The second aim is the most challenging for students. At the beginning of the program, all participating students are asked to complete an initial online self-evaluation sheet in which they estimate their strengths and weaknesses in reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar, and vocabulary, in Italian or another foreign language as appropriate at this stage (see Figure 5).
This reflective component is crucial to the ILLP because it encourages students to become increasingly aware of their learning needs and, at the same time, fosters their motivation for learning. Students are also encouraged to provide reflective
comments on the tasks they have carried out, with a particular focus on what they have achieved. Although students' comments in evaluation questionnaires suggest that this reflection is their least favorite component of the ILLP, students who undertake it recognize its long-term benefits, not only over a period of one year but even more effectively over two years, when the ILLP is continued by group 2a students (former 1a students). According to Ushioda (1996, pp. 18-19) “a crucially important motivational dimension is how [students] perceive the experience of learning itself” since intrinsic motivation “is self-sustaining because it generates its own rewards; leads to voluntary persistence at learning; focuses on skill development and mastery; [and] is an expression of personal control and autonomy in the learning process.” The issue of motivation is especially relevant to this reflective part since in the end-of-year ILLP evaluation questionnaires, students are asked to specify, among other things: (a) whether they have benefited from the program and why, (b) whether they would do anything differently if they were to begin the program again, and (c) what they liked most and least about the program's structure and delivery.
Initial Self-evaluation Form for 1a Students
These questionnaires enable assessment of the extent to which students have fulfilled the program's aims. Answers suggest that students who complete this reflective component have developed and/or enhanced their time management skills. For example, in answering question (b) above, most students in groups 1a and 1b state that they would find more time to do the tasks and spread them more
evenly across the two semesters. This comment is almost nonexistent for 2a students, who, instead, comment on the type of tasks on which they would focus.
As for students' ability to identify strengths and weaknesses in their language learning, experience with the program suggests that by the end of their second year, ex-beginners (i.e., 2a students) are able to reflect upon their weaknesses and devise an autonomous plan of work to rectify them. Indeed, by the end of their first year, students have developed the ability to assess their learning outcomes and to make plans for their future learning, setting their own targets as they prepare to leave for the summer vacation. This reflective process has proved very fruitful for all three groups of students in their planning of future activities because it encourages them to approach their work with a positive `can-do' mentality, essential to building confidence in the use of the TL. Students' comments indicate that, after one year of ILLP work, they perceive themselves as responsible for their language learning (within a supervised and virtual environment); in fact, they are motivated to continue to work on their portfolios and use WebCT when the academic year has come to an end.
CONTINUED BENEFITS OF VLE-ENHANCED ILLP
At the end of the first and second semester of each year, students are normally invited to discuss their language progress with their language tutor or with the ILLP coordinator in one-to-one meetings or interviews. Three sets of interviews were held at the end of the academic year 2004-05, reflecting the three groups who had been using the ILLP (1a, 1b, and 2a). These were qualitative interviews which focused particularly on the role which the ILLP played in the students' development of language skills. Out of 55 students who completed the ILLP, 22 attended interviews (13 from group 1a, 4 from group 1b, and 5 from group 2a). Figures 6 and 7 show the students' responses to two key questions. “How much did the ILLP help you to improve your language skills?” and “How important was the online format of the ILLP?” It is worth noting that no significant differences were reported among the three groups of students in their answers to these questions.
How much did the ILLP help you to improve your language skills
How important was the online format of the ILLP?
Students who regarded the online component as very important, important, or fairly important provided various reasons in support of their views. They stated, for instance, that the online component
1. helped them to stay up-to-date with the program's development, and with deadlines;
2. provided them with clear instructions and had a clear structure;
3. gave them ideas on how to improve specific language skills;
4. allowed them easy and user-friendly access to the suggested materials;
5. encouraged and motivated their learning of the TL;
6. gave them the opportunity to work at home, at weekends, or otherwise when not at university;
7. gave them the opportunity to access materials at any time; and
8. gave them the confidence to ask grammar questions if class time proved insufficient for that purpose.
The importance of the online component cannot be underestimated for the ILLP; 15 out of the 22 students interviewed confirmed that they would have completed fewer tasks without it (only 2 students from 2a, 2 from 1b, and 3 from 1a stated that they would have completed the same amount of work). In the opinion of the students, the online component provided an incentive to work continuously over a long period of time. Most important, in answering question (c) above (what they liked most and least about the ILLP's structure and delivery), the students considered the online component to add an element of fun to the whole program, thereby increasing their motivation.
Clearly, therefore, students who engage in the VLE-enhanced ILLP develop better learning skills than those who do not engage in the program. I shall assess in a later section the extent to which this engagement is reflected in students' marks. On a broader front, the students acquire greater independence and manage their time more effectively, reflecting a long-term development of transferable skills that can be used beyond the ILLP, and indeed beyond the degree program. Even more important, the students realise that learning a language cannot simply
take place within the classroom environment and are, therefore, more motivated to pursue their learning outside the confines of the formal program. Crucially for their success as language students, they come to recognize that learning is underpinned by enjoyment.
DEVELOPING THE USE OF A VLE-ENHANCED LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
The increasingly encouraging ILLP results were the impetus for a further pilot project in 2004-2005, whereby some of the prescribed homework activities for the first-year beginners course (group 1a) were delivered through the VLE.
Students in this group were introduced to the VLE 4 weeks earlier than had previously been the case and were required to complete a set task in their third week. The objective was to increase students' motivation and to empower them, through online interaction, to communicate in real-life situations by using those few elements of the TL with which they were familiar by this stage. The ILLP had by now developed into a full-fledged website, incorporating information on the core language program (see Figure 8). Students were required to post a message to an online discussion board and introduce themselves in the TL.
Example of Core Language Course Site for Group 1a Beginning in 2004-05
The students were also required to find another student with whom they had something in common (e.g. the same number of family members, same name, same type of student accommodation) and report on the fact in a subsequent class. This activity was extremely successful because it provided students with an opportunity both to use the TL at a very early learning stage, and to get to know each other at the beginning of their academic career. A similar structure was used
for an exercise in the second semester in which students discussed their likes and dislikes; this task again met with a generally positive response from students.
As students grew accustomed to WebCT, both through prescribed homework and the ILLP, a final task was devised that had the objective of stimulating discussion and student-led cooperation. These, according to Scharle and Szabó (2000, p.8), are the bases of responsibility and autonomy: “[group work] encourages the learners to rely on each other (and consequently themselves as well) and not only on the teacher. [It] also creates opportunities for feedback from peers: learners will do things to please the group rather than to please the teacher. Finally [it] may help you to get a higher proportion of students actively involved in completing a task.” As part of a summatively assessed homework exercise, students were divided into groups and given the opening lines of a detective story in the TL (see Figure 9).
Example of Detective Story Homework Assignment
The groups were required to continue the story, and each group's composition was read, evaluated, and finally marked by another group (this mark counting for 40% of the overall mark for the exercise). The task's online format contributed to its success among students since they were able to read other groups' stories as well as checking the summative and formative assessment which they received. Students gained a more acute awareness of their learning abilities; their learning development was challenged in an informal situation which enabled them to benefit from each other's language skills and to consolidate their learning in a
friendly atmosphere. In light of the encouraging student feedback received, this initiative will be repeated in future years.
THE QUALITY OF THE ONLINE WORK
Completed portfolios were given a percentage mark by language tutors.9 Successful portfolios typically contained a higher number of activities than the number suggested for the groups (a minimum of 8 tasks for group 1a and a minimum of 12 tasks for both 1b and 2a groups) and indicated that clear progress has been made in the areas in which students had originally perceived themselves to be relatively weak. This progress could also be seen when students' initial self-assessment sheets were compared with their final self-assessment forms: in the latter, the majority of students indicated that, through the tasks they carried out, their perceived areas of weakness in the TL improved. This comment was also reiterated during interviews, when students stated that the ILLP played a dominant role both as a learning tool alongside timetabled classes and as an aid to practicing the four skills in the TL when in-class practice time alone proved insufficient.
In this respect, the flexibility of the program gives students the opportunity to work equally on any skill that they wish to develop, although students tend to agree that the language skills which benefited most from the ILLP are reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary. Although most students seem rather reluctant to undertake activities aimed at improving listening and, especially, speaking skills, it is hoped that this situation will be rectified in the future as appropriate software is introduced.
The content of the completed portfolios suggests that the online format stimulates students to produce more original and personalized work than that which appears in the portfolios of students who opt out of the VLE. The VLE students benefit from maximum exposure to the TL at any time of the day, as opposed to those students who rely heavily on books and/or other paper-based material, which may be accessible only through the library or the language center. Additionally, the greater exposure to the TL permitted in the VLE enables students to use a wider range of vocabulary and more up-to-date language, as—thanks to the flexibility of the Internet—new material is supplied on a daily basis. In WebCT, the option of editing material gives the tutor the possibility of altering the sites according to the developing needs of the learners. In addition, the VLE enables students to understand and master grammatical structures more fully since they can take advantage of both dedicated grammar websites, which allow them to monitor their performance through immediate checks, and the WebCT discussion board, which is proving to be an irreplaceable tool for grammar explanations beyond the classroom context.
The students who create a VLE-enhanced portfolio also seem to be more active and creative in re-elaborating online material because they are more likely to find topics of interest and use them to suit their needs. Experience in fact suggests that students who use the Internet to devise self-directed activities choose topics in which they have an interest, which is often not the case for students whose ILLP is not enhanced by the VLE or the Internet and have therefore to rely on more `static'
material such as books or other printed resources. The latter group of students tend to be more inclined to work on topics that do not necessarily interest them and, consequently, are less inclined to remember new vocabulary items since they would be unlikely to use them in real-life situations.
The completed portfolio, as seen by the tutor, is therefore an exciting document, showing the student's dedication and enthusiasm for the language and the learning process. Comparisons suggest that students who exploit the VLE take greater advantage of their learning abilities and styles than students who do not make use of this opportunity. This is especially true of weaker students, who, by doing activities which they enjoy, benefit from the opportunity to produce work in a nonthreatening situation. In these cases, by personalizing their work, learners engage proactively with their deficiencies, in contrast to classroom situations in which these deficiencies tend to force them into a passive role. In this respect, the ILLP has proved to be a confidence booster for this cohort of students by helping them to maintain high levels of motivation, as well as giving them a feeling of `ownership' towards the TL that would have probably not been achieved so successfully otherwise. As for stronger students, online delivery often encourages them to deal with material slightly beyond their current abilities. Far from being deterred by difficulties, they are stimulated to rise to new challenges as they engage with original and authentic material that they themselves have chosen.
Overall, it can be seen that the quality of portfolio work exceeds that of wholly teacher-directed work because students capitalize on their strengths and overcome their weaknesses on their own initiative, take charge of their learning, and, crucially, play a dominant role in maintaining self-motivation. In addition, when comparing set coursework with portfolios (especially VLE-enhanced portfolios), it can be seen that the former is approached with a different frame of mind on the part of the students whose efforts are more directed at gaining a mark and, in some cases, pleasing the tutor. On the other hand, portfolios seem to overcome these problems. Although a percentage mark is attached to the work, the same mark is awarded to any student who satisfactorily completes it (100 out of 100); moreover, students have commented that the mark itself becomes less important over the two semesters because of the ongoing and developing nature of the portfolio (overall portfolios are worth only 5% of the final mark for the core language unit), which surpasses the preoccupation attached to completing assessed coursework merely for assessment's sake.
Similar results were achieved by group 1a students' completion of a detective story carried out in the second semester. Although this activity represented the final piece of assessed coursework for the core language course, the cooperative nature of this task helped students to overcome the concern that assessment necessarily entails because they proactively contributed to the exercise and, significantly, enjoyed themselves. Initially, group work provided an environment for exchanging information about the TL (e.g., grammatical structures and lexical items) in order to provide an ending to the story; in this respect, students reported that they benefited from each other's knowledge in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. This initial exchange continued in the next phase when students were asked to provide
written summative and formative assessment of another group's composition. The most beneficial element of this pilot project was the identification of mistakes and the suggested corrections in the text being marked that resulted from the on-going cooperation among students (see Figure 10). This process required discussion and agreement within groups, and students confirmed through oral feedback that the discussions led to thought-provoking debates on grammatical topics since students' personal knowledge of the TL was tested in a nonthreatening environment. The students enjoyed the discussions that ensued because everybody felt compelled to make a contribution to the group exercise.
Two Examples of Composition Assessments by Students
Overall, the success of the detective story activity depended on the level of cooperation among the students and the exposure to the TL in the task itself and on the mark eventually obtained for the work. Students' input contributed 40% to the total mark for this exercise, whereas the tutor's mark counted for 60%. The average mark obtained for the task by each group was 5% higher than that obtained by individual students in similar non-VLE exercises in the same semester. It must be noted that students' input in the assessment process did not significantly impinge on raising the final mark in that they assessed each other on the basis of the guidelines provided by the tutor. The group exercise format also helped to minimize any bias on the part of the students towards their friends because they were more inclined to judge the piece of work fairly rather than judging fellow students individually. The virtual learning environment yet again proved to be a valid and successful learning tool; students' comments focused on the possibility of reading other groups' completed stories as well as their formative assessment, which significantly increased the exposure to the TL, in comparison to previously carried out paper-based activities.
To sum up, the evidence above indicates that students who follow a VLE-supported ILLP develop both better skills as language learners and more valuable transferable skills than students who do not. To a lesser extent, students who engage in a VLE-enhanced ILLP also seem to progress more in their language acquisition than students who take the ILLP but do not use the VLE.
In particular, students who engage in the VLE-enhanced ILLP fulfil the requirements of learning autonomy/independence as summarized in the CIEL (2000) project. Moving away from dependence on the teacher, independent learners “take responsibility for their own learning and learn to learn; develop key transferable skills (e.g. study, time-management, IT, interpersonal skills, etc.); actively manage their learning, seeking out learning opportunities and using appropriate learning strategies; involve themselves in an iterative process in which they set short and long term learning objectives, [and] reflect on and evaluate progress.”
Moreover, these students produce written work of a quality which would not have been achieved solely within the classroom context. In this respect, the VLE stimulates students to progress further in their language learning and thereby acquires an irreplaceable pedagogic function, imbuing students with enthusiasm not only for the language itself, but also for the technology through which they can practice their skills.
1 Program 1a aims to give complete beginners a knowledge of the Italian language comparable to that achieved by students with an A-level in the subject. When progressing to the second year (2a), these students continue to revise basic aspects of the language as well as focusing on those more challenging aspects of which they had only needed a superficial knowledge in the previous year.
2 Program 2b is part of the institution-wide language program and consists of the production of a directed portfolio of activities upon which 2b students collaborate with students from partner Italian institutions during their Erasmus program at the University of Manchester. For further reading, see Truscott and Morley (2001, 2003).
3 Italian Studies is now one of the constituent discipline areas of the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures within the University of Manchester.
4 The core language courses for both groups 1b and 2a are worth 20 credits, whereas the 1a beginners' course is worth 40 credits. According to the University of Manchester's guidelines, it is calculated that a 40 credit course will require 400 hours of study and a 20 credit course will require 200 hours of study in order to be completed successfully. Contact hours (class time), coursework, and independent learning are included within these figures.
5 In this study, the terms `autonomy/autonomous' should be interpreted as synonyms of `independence/independent, as exemplified by Benson and Voller (1997, pp. 1-2).
6 In this study, the terms `tasks' and `activities' are used interchangeably. For ideas on activities on autonomous learning, see Gardner and Miller (1996), Scharle and Szabó (2000), and Page (1996).
7 Although the ILLP is now a compulsory and integral component of the core language course, some students decide not to take it, thereby losing both a valuable mark for the core course unit and an ideal opportunity to learn more about the language studied and their own learning abilities. Students who do not take part in the ILLP receive a mark of 0% at the end of the year, whereas students who have successfully completed the program are awarded a mark of 100%. This figure represents 5% of the final mark for the core language course.
8 For other experiences of VLE-enhanced autonomous learning (and bibliography), see Schwienhorst (2003) and Shield (2002).
9 Portfolios are collected twice a year for all three groups of students. The first collection ensures that students in groups 1a and 1b have understood the underlying philosophy of the program. Similarly, for students in group 2a, this first collection also ensures that all students are working on the program alongside their core language course. The second collection is for the purpose of summative assessment.
Benson, P., & Voller, P. (1997). Autonomy and independence in language learning. London: Longman.
CIEL Language Support Network. (2000). Integrating independent learning with the curriculum. In The guide to good practice for learning and teaching in languages, linguistics and area studies. LTSN Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies, University of Southampton. Retrieved January 23, 2006, from http://www.lang.ltsn.ac.uk/resources/goodpractice.aspx?resourceid=1400
Gardner, D., & Miller, L. (Eds.). (1996). Tasks for independent language learning. Alexandria, VA: TESOL.
Holec, H. (1981). Autonomy and foreign language learning. Oxford: Pergamon Press. [Re-print. Original: (1979) Strasbourg: Council of Europe.]
Page, B. (Ed.). (1996). Letting go—taking hold: A guide to independent language learning by teachers for teachers. London: CILT.
Scharle, A., & Szabó, A. (2000). Learner autonomy. A guide to developing learner responsibility. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Schwienhorst, K. (2003). Neither here nor there? Learner autonomy and intercultural factors in CALL environments. In D. Palfreyman & R. C. Smith (Eds.), Learner autonomy across cultures: Language education perspectives (pp. 164-179). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Shield, L. (2002). Technology-mediated learning. In The guide to good practice for learning and teaching in languages, lnguistics and area studies.Southampton: LTSN Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies. Retrieved January 23, 2006, from http://www.lang.ltsn.ac.uk/resources/goodpractice.aspx ?resourceid=416
Truscott, S., & Morley, J. (2001). Setting up a credit-rated tandem scheme: A case study. In M. Mozzon-McPherson & R. Vismans (Eds.), Beyond language teaching, towards language advising (pp. 199-207). London: CILT.
Truscott, S., & Morley, J. (2003). Language learning in tandem. Critical encounters; Scholarly approaches to learning and teaching (pp.149-161). York: LTSN.
Ushioda, E. (1996). Learner autonomy: The role of motivation. Dublin: Authentik.