Authors:
Csaba KálmánDepartment of English Applied Linguistics, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary

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Kata CsizérDepartment of English Applied Linguistics, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary

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Adult L2 learner autonomy

The idea of this special issue on adult autonomy in the field of second-language teaching and learning was born in response to shifting sociocultural and educational circumstances that have taken place in the Hungarian context. That said, the current sociocultural conditions can be characterized by influences that pertain to westernization and globalization in every area of life. This involves embracing traditionally western concepts like autonomy (Chik, Aoki, & Smith, 2018), as well as the unstoppable spread of and the increasing need for the English language in all walks of life, that is from social media use to interlacing corporate relations (Baker, 2015; Földi, László, Szűcs, & Máté, 2013; Sturcz, 2010). At the same time, there is a tendency to recentralize Hungarian educational contexts (Péteri, 2014), which seems to go against the notion of autonomy per se. Hence, educators in institutionalized contexts are faced with an increasing number of constraints.

With regard to our special issue, we intended to explore how adult autonomy was exhibited in this special environment characterized by dual contrasting forces described above. We invited researchers from different Hungarian contexts of second-language teaching and learning with a view to deepening our understanding of autonomy and finding out how it was conceptualized and manifested in corporate as well as public educational contexts. The reason as to why we focused on adults in our issue was that currently, an unprecedented amount of attention is being paid to lifelong learning in developed economies (Billett, 2018). The studies in the volume present the views of both language teachers and adult language learners about the extent to which autonomy plays a role in their lives.

Our special issue begins with a theoretical article. Illés proposes a theoretical model of adult language learner autonomy. She analyzes three perspectives of learner autonomy, such as autonomy as a learner, as a communicator, and as a person, and claims that all of these perspectives apply to adult learners. In her view, autonomy as a learner and autonomy as a person have their roots in adult language learning contexts; however, it is autonomy as a communicator that prepares learners for the demands of 21st century communication in a global context where English functions as a lingua franca. She argues that individual autonomy should be an adaption of various concepts of autonomy in ways that are suitable for a particular learner at a particular stage of their language-learning process. This, in turn, entails lifelong learning and provides a dynamic and individual model for adult learner autonomy.

The empirical part of the issue starts with Kálmán’s paper that draws on four interview studies conducted with L2 adult learners and teachers as well as HR policy makers in Hungarian corporate contexts. In his investigation, Kálmán explores adult learner autonomy and particularly how corporate contexts, as well as teachers work can foster adult learners’ autonomy and motivation. His findings demonstrate that the autonomy-generating capacity of corporate contexts can be attributed to the organic development of their language education systems, as well as to the special features of current language-training practices they use. As for the role of the teacher promoting autonomy, his results show that teachers can best foster adult learner autonomy by tailoring their teaching to the needs of the learner, as well as encouraging them to learn and use English out of the classroom.

Barabarics’s study focuses on the autonomous development of alternative assessment methods used by L2 teachers. Her paper aims to explore teachers’ views and their ways of using alternative assessment, as well as their motivations and purposes for using them, by presenting the opinions of Hungarian secondary school teachers already using methods of alternative assessment. Her findings show that teachers are applying alternative assessment methods because they find grading to be an insufficient means for assessment. Furthermore, she concludes that in the teachers’ opinion, grading can even hinder the development of certain learner skills. As a result, teachers feel the need to continuously learn about and improve their assessment methods, which in turn necessitates and results in lifelong learning.

Finally, Mikusova investigated how Hungarian English language teachers refine their role in developing their learner’s self-regulation. In order to fulfill this aim, she conducted interviews with primary and secondary English language teachers in Hungary. As all the participants of her study came from the public education sphere, their understanding of self-regulation was compared to the concept of self-regulation devised by the Hungarian National Core Curriculum. Her results show that teachers are cognizant of the importance of self-regulation and foster its development not only during (English) classes, but also while preparing for and reflecting on their lessons. However, the teachers interviewed disagree on the definition of self-regulation, and they are also in disagreement regarding the time when the development of self-regulation should begin. Constant reflection on such matters results in the teachers’ continuous professional development and in lifelong learning.

Due to the increasing significance of lifelong learning in our lives, we think it is important to pay more attention to adult learner autonomy independent of the profession one pursues, whether it be L2 teachers, adult L2 learners, or professionals not in the field of second-language learning and teaching. However, in the field of second-language acquisition, where the ultimate aim of language learning is to slowly shift language learning experiences into language use experiences (Csizér & Kálmán, 2019), and where the opportunities provided by digital practices are immense (Chik, 2018), autonomy might play in even more pivotal role in the learning process. As a result, future research projects should consider the relationship between adult L2 autonomy and digital practices, as well as the relationship between individual L2 teacher and learner autonomy. Furthermore, future investigations should consider contexts that inherently inhibit autonomy either because of the broader culture they are embedded in or due to the impact educational policy makers have on them.

References

  • Baker, W. (2015). Culture and identity through English as a Lingua Franca. Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter Mouton.

  • Billett, S. (2018). Distinguishing lifelong learning from lifelong education. Journal of Adult Learning, Knowledge and Innovation, 2(1), 17. doi:10.1556/2059.01.2017.3

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  • Chik, A. (2018). Learner autonomy and digital practices. In A. Chik, N. Aoki, & R. Smith (Eds.), Autonomy in language learning and teaching: New research agendas. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

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  • Chik, A. , Aoki, N. , & Smith, R. (2018). Introduction. In A. Chik, N. Aoki, & R. Smith (Eds.), Autonomy in language learning and teaching: New research agendas. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

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  • Csizér, K. , & Kálmán, Cs. (Eds.). (2019). Editorial. Special issue: Language learning experience: The neglected element in L2 motivation research. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 9(1), 1317. doi:10.14746/ssllt.2019.9.1.1

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  • Földi, K. , László, É. , Szűcs, R. S. , & Máté, Z. (2013). A munkaerőpiacon szükséges nyelvi kompetenciák feltérképezése kvalitatív eszközökkel [Mapping language competencies necessary in the labour market]. Szolnoki Tudományos Közlemények, 17, 140151.

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  • Péteri, G. (2014). Újraközpontosítás a közoktatásban [Re-centralisation in public education]. Educatio, 23(1), 1325.

  • Sturcz, Z. (2010). A munkaadók nyelvi elvárásai a szakértelmiséggel szemben: 2010 [Employers’ language requirements towards professionals: 2010]. Modern Nyelvoktatás, 16(4), 718.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Baker, W. (2015). Culture and identity through English as a Lingua Franca. Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter Mouton.

  • Billett, S. (2018). Distinguishing lifelong learning from lifelong education. Journal of Adult Learning, Knowledge and Innovation, 2(1), 17. doi:10.1556/2059.01.2017.3

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chik, A. (2018). Learner autonomy and digital practices. In A. Chik, N. Aoki, & R. Smith (Eds.), Autonomy in language learning and teaching: New research agendas. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chik, A. , Aoki, N. , & Smith, R. (2018). Introduction. In A. Chik, N. Aoki, & R. Smith (Eds.), Autonomy in language learning and teaching: New research agendas. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Csizér, K. , & Kálmán, Cs. (Eds.). (2019). Editorial. Special issue: Language learning experience: The neglected element in L2 motivation research. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 9(1), 1317. doi:10.14746/ssllt.2019.9.1.1

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Földi, K. , László, É. , Szűcs, R. S. , & Máté, Z. (2013). A munkaerőpiacon szükséges nyelvi kompetenciák feltérképezése kvalitatív eszközökkel [Mapping language competencies necessary in the labour market]. Szolnoki Tudományos Közlemények, 17, 140151.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Péteri, G. (2014). Újraközpontosítás a közoktatásban [Re-centralisation in public education]. Educatio, 23(1), 1325.

  • Sturcz, Z. (2010). A munkaadók nyelvi elvárásai a szakértelmiséggel szemben: 2010 [Employers’ language requirements towards professionals: 2010]. Modern Nyelvoktatás, 16(4), 718.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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Senior editors

Editor(s)-in-Chief: Helga DORNER

Associate Editors 

  • Csíkos, Csaba (Eötvös Lorand University, Hungary)
  • Csizér, Kata (Eötvös Lorand University, Hungary)
  • Dorner, Helga (Central European University, Hungary)

 

Editorial Board

  • Basseches, Michael (Suffolk University, USA)
  • Billett, Stephen (Griffith University, Australia)
  • Cakmakci, Gültekin (Hacettepe University, Turkey)
  • Damsa, Crina (University of Oslo,Norway)
  • Dörnyei, Zoltán (Nottingham University, UK)
  • Endedijk, Maaike (University of Twente, The Netherlands)
  • Fejes, Andreas (Linköping University, Sweden)
  • Guimaraes, Paula (University of Lisbon, Portugal)
  • Halász, Gábor (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Hansman, Catherine A. (Cleveland State University, USA)
  • Kroeber, Edith (Stuttgart University, Germany)
  • Kumar, Swapna (University of Florida, USA)
  • MacDonald, Ronald (University of Prince Edward Island, Canada)
  • Marsick, Victoria J. (Columbia University, USA)
  • Martensson, Katarina (Lund University, Sweden)
  • Matei, Liviu (Central European University, Hungary)
  • Matyja, Malgorzata (Wroclaw University of Economics, Poland)
  • Mercer, Sarah (University of Graz, Austria)
  • Nichols, Gill (University of Surrey, UK)
  • Nokkala, Terhi (University of Jyvaskyla, Finland)
  • Ostrouch-Kaminska (Uniwersytet Warminsko-Mazurski, Poland)
  • Pusztai, Gabriella (University of Debrecen, Hungary)
  • Ramesal, Ana (Barcelona University, Spain)
  • Reischmann, Jost (Bamberg University, Germany)
  • Rösken-Winter, Bettina (Humboldt, Germany)
  • Ryan, Stephen (Waseda University, Japan)
  • Török, Erika (Pallasz Athéné University, Hungary)
  • Wach-Kakolewicz, Anna (Poznan University of Economics and Business, Poland)
  • Watkins, Karen E. (University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia)

 

 

 

Journal of Adult Learning, Knowledge and Innovation
Editorial Office
Eötvös Loránd University
Faculty of Education and Psychology
Institute of Research on Adult Education and Knowledge Management
Address: 1075 Budapest, Kazinczy u. 23-27. HUNGARY

E-mail: jalki@ppk.elte.hu

2020  
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Journal of Adult Learning, Knowledge and Innovation
Publication Model Gold Open Access
Submission Fee none
Article Processing Charge none
Subscription Information Gold Open Access

Journal of Adult Learning, Knowledge and Innovation
Language English
Size A4
Year of
Foundation
2016
Volumes
per Year
1
Issues
per Year
2
Founder Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem
Founder's
Address
H-1053 Budapest, Hungary Egyetem tér 1-3.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 2631-1348 (Online)

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