Event Date: 9th July 2022


This presentation is divided into four parts. In the first, language learner autonomy is defined; in the second, why we should want to foster its development is explained; in the third, how we can foster its development is considered; and in the fourth, examples of work produced by two autonomous learners twenty years apart are presented and analysed. The conclusion draws together the threads of Prof. David Little’s argument.

About the Speaker:

Professor David Little is a Fellow Emeritus of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. His principal research interests are the theory and practice of learner autonomy in language education, the development of plurilingual approaches in schools and classrooms, and the use of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages to support the design of curricula, learning programmes and assessment.

David Little has contributed to the Council of Europe’s work in language education since the 1980s, with a particular focus on the European Language Portfolio (ELP), the linguistic integration of adult migrants, and the teaching/learning of Romani. Between 2004 and 2011 he led two projects on the ELP for the European Centre for Modern Languages, and he currently coordinates the ECML’s QualiRom Training and Consultancy, which supports the educational inclusion of Roma, and the Council of Europe’s Romani/Plurilingual Policy Experimentation.

Language Learner Autonomy: Theory, Practice and Research, by David Little, Leni Dam and Lienhard Legenhausen, was published by Multilingual Matters in 2017; Engaging with Linguistic Diversity: A Study of Educational Inclusion in an Irish Primary School, by David Little and Déirdre Kirwan, was published by Blooomsbury Academic in 2019; and Reflecting on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and its Companion Volume, edited by David Little and Neus Figueras, was published by Multilingual Matters in 2022.