Introduction: Culture and Learner Autonomy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript

45 Citations (Scopus)


In one of the earliest works referring to ‘learner autonomy’, Holec (1981: 3) describes it as “the ability to take charge of one’s own learning”. The concept of learner autonomy, promoted by Holec and others in the context of language education in Europe, has in the last twenty years become influential as a goal in many parts of the world (Pemberton et al., 1996; Benson and Voller, 1997b; Cotterall and Crabbe, 1999; Sinclair et al., 2000; Little et al., 2000; Benson, 2001). Several arguments may be used in favour of developing autonomy in language learners: for example, that autonomy is a human right (e.g. Benson, 2000); that autonomous learning is more effective than other approaches to learning (e.g. Naiman et al., 1978); and that learners need to take charge of their own learning in order to make the most of available resources, especially outside the classroom (e.g. Waite, 1994).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLearner Autonomy Across Cultures
Subtitle of host publicationLanguage Education Perspectives
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780230504684
ISBN (Print)9781403903549
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult education
  • Cultural background
  • Individual learner
  • Language education
  • Language learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


Dive into the research topics of 'Introduction: Culture and Learner Autonomy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this