Developing learner autonomy in a grammar class

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Simon Cooke, Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University


Traditionally, grammar classes have tended to follow a teacher-led, prescriptive curriculum with students given little opportunity to demonstrate understanding, or lack of it, on a given topic before being asked to tackle the next grammar point in a textbook. The university class under study made such an approach even more challenging by being open to students from a variety of year groups and language learning backgrounds. With a view to establishing a class which could allow students of all levels to examine the weaknesses in their grammar and share learning patterns, the curriculum was adjusted to allow for the variety of levels and encourage autonomous learning of grammar. The resulting classes made for a dynamic and collaborative learning environment which allowed students the freedom to examine and share a variety of learning styles of grammar points relevant to their English levels.