About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1108-1115
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain

A SELF ACCESS CENTER: A WINDOW TOWARDS AUTONOMY

The concept of autonomy has considerable relevance nowadays due to the fact that roles in the process of learning are being modified. Students are expected to be independent, to take decisions and to be active participants in their own learning. Nowadays, the Self-Access Centers of the University of Veracruz offer the conditions for students to develop their independence. Students can take English lessons in a classroom and have additional practice in a Self Access Center, where autonomy and independence can be promoted. The present study reports on the process towards autonomy experienced by a group of students at the Language Center of the University of Veracruz in Poza Rica. The teacher trained them to become more independent through practice in the Self-Access Center (SAC) which is also known as CAA (Centro de Auto Acceso) and considering aspects such as learning styles and metacognitive strategies, as well as students’ needs, strengths and weaknesses. The study describes students’ perceptions of their process towards autonomy as well as their perceptions of themselves as more independent students and of their teacher’s role. This study explores the process that a group of students experienced at the Language Center of the University of Veracruz in Poza Rica, Veracruz, Mexico while doing autonomous work in a Self-Access Center (SAC). The study focused on aspects such as students’ ideas and feelings about autonomy and independent work; students’ perceptions about SAC activities, problems and solutions; the role of learning styles and the use of metacognitive strategies, as well as teacher’s and students’ roles during the process. The study is an action research project which was carried out in an English as a Second Language group of beginners at the University of Veracruz who used the SAC for their autonomous work. It describes students’ perceptions of their process towards autonomy as well as their perceptions of themselves as more independent students and of their teacher’s role. The teacher trained them to become more independent through practice in the Self Access Center which is also known as CAA (Centro de Auto Acceso) and considering aspects such as learning styles and metacognitive strategies, as well as students’ needs, strengths and weaknesses. Students were given five tasks designed to help them achieve a higher level of autonomy. Information was gathered through a diary of field notes for the teacher as well as a questionnaire and interviews for students at the end of each task. The results show that the teacher’s intervention was essential in order to raise students’ awareness of the use of learning styles and metacognitive strategies, and as a scaffolding process that allowed students to work from basic to more complicated tasks. The process helped students to modify their own concept of autonomy and learn how to reach a higher level of independence. Full autonomy is a desirable but unrealistic ideal due to the fact that students do not become autonomous in a few weeks or even some months. Many students may have certain level of autonomy and become more autonomous by means of different elements in the process such as awareness of their capacities, skills and needs. Autonomy is a process in which students need to be active participants, but also a process which requires support from the teacher because at a certain stage they need some guidance, orientation and assessment.
@InProceedings{GUTIERREZRODRIGUEZ2012ASE,
author = {Guti{\'{e}}rrez Rodriguez, A. and Mata Mart{\'{i}}nez, K.L. and Arriaga Parada, A.},
title = {A SELF ACCESS CENTER: A WINDOW TOWARDS AUTONOMY},
series = {6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-5563-5},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {1108-1115}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Gutiérrez Rodriguez AU - K.L. Mata Martínez AU - A. Arriaga Parada
TI - A SELF ACCESS CENTER: A WINDOW TOWARDS AUTONOMY
SN - 978-84-615-5563-5/2340-1079
PY - 2012
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2012
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2012 Proceedings
SP - 1108
EP - 1115
ER -
A. Gutiérrez Rodriguez, K.L. Mata Martínez, A. Arriaga Parada (2012) A SELF ACCESS CENTER: A WINDOW TOWARDS AUTONOMY, INTED2012 Proceedings, pp. 1108-1115.
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