Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version

Fall 2021


The Language Educator, Fall 2021, pp. 20-23


Copyright © ACTFL


Developing learners’ ability to manage their own learning is integral to building language proficiency and requires that learners clearly understand what they are learning and why they are learning it (Little, Dam & Legenhausen, 2017). There is general agreement that autonomous learners accept responsibility and take ownership for their own learning, share in identifying learning goals, actively and positively engage in learning tasks, and reflect on and evaluate their own learning (Holec 1981, Little 1991). When learners are actively engaged in the learning process, motivation is ensured, and temporary challenges and setbacks in language learning can be overcome.

This issue of The Language Educator addresses questions such as: What are the key factors in developing ownership in language learning? What does it mean to be an autonomous learner? What are the key principles that undergird autonomous learning? How does a teacher create learner ownership in the language learner? How do we position learners to think about their own learning and make connections inside and outside the classroom to monitor their learning development? Why and how does learner ownership build and sustain motivation in learners to increase language proficiency?