Autonomy at Any Price? Issues and Concerns from a British HE Perspective


  • Stella Hurd M.A.

    1. The Open University
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      Stella Hurd (M.A., University of Wolverhampton) is Lecturer in French at the Open University, Milton Keynes, England.


ABSTRACT  To remain viable in today's stringent financial climate, British university departments are having to recruit more and more students and look increasingly to less costly alternative forms of delivery. Autonomous learning is seen by many to be the obvious option. Some language departments have responded by introducing autonomous language learning into their curriculum, and there are a number of interesting and innovative approaches that have been developed in a small number of universities. This article sounds a warning that it is neither an easy nor a cheap alternative and that there are important economic, psychological, pedagogical, and practical issues to address if autonomous language learning is to achieve any measure of success.