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Book: Learner Autonomy and Web 2.0

Chapter: 'Old Concepts in New Spaces': A Model for Developing Learner Autonomy in Social Networking Spaces

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.32709


Learner autonomy is one of the buzz words of contemporary foreign language learning. This article sets out to show the role social media – and Facebook in particular – can play in developing learner autonomy. It is assumed that social presence and social interaction in the collaborative environment of social networking sites can facilitate the development of learner autonomy. In a first step, the social dimension of learner autonomy in existing models, with a focus on Dam’s autonomous classroom interaction model (2008), will be reviewed. By analyzing qualitative and quantitative data from two Facebook projects carried out at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, it will then be shown how learners take ownership of their own learning while collaborating with others and that the ways in which they do so demand a new understanding of social interaction and collaboration in autonomous learning environments in the context of social media.

Chapter Contributors

  • Ward Peeters ( - wpeeters) 'University of Antwerp'
  • Christian Ludwig ( - n1e5wlife) 'University of Education Karlsruhe'