The International Research Foundation (TIRF) and Cambridge ESOL, in collaboration with the British Council, recently sponsored a seminar to discuss strategies for promoting learner autonomy.
The session approached the topic of learner autonomy in the contexts of conversations in the target language. In order to get input, experience interaction, and produce conversational output, second language learners need to participate in sustained conversations. However, speaking a new language entails taking risks – and that’s where communications strategies come into play.
The seminar was presented by Kathleen M. Bailey, professor of applied linguistics at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a professor in the TESOL Masters Program at Anaheim University and Chair of the TIRF Board of Trustees and President of the foundation. She started her talk by reviewing a communication strategies framework and then related these concepts to our own uses of communication strategies before examining an example of an activity that can be used to promote learners’ development of communication strategies. Professor Bailey also discussed how such strategies can help students sustain conversations and develop autonomy and provided specific ideas for teaching communication strategies in class.
Kathleen M. Bailey has served on the TIRF Board of Trustees since 2000. She received her M.A. in TESOL and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Bailey has worked with language teachers in Australia, Brazil, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Uruguay, Poland, Argentina, Brazil, Thailand, Trinidad, Czechoslovakia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the U.S. In 1998-99 she was the president of TESOL. She is the recipient of numerous awards for services to teaching.