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Researching the Spatial Dimension of Learner Autonomy

  • Garold Murray
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter proposes a new research direction into autonomy in language learning: an exploration of its spatial dimension. Based on a longitudinal ethnographic inquiry into a social learning space in a language centre in a Japanese university, a key assumption of the study is that how people define a space transforms it into a place, determines what they do there and influences their autonomy. Drawing on data from this five-year investigation, the findings suggest that researchers might draw on ecological approaches, complexity approaches and mediated discourse analysis. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the potential benefits of pursuing research that incorporates space, place and autonomy.

Keywords

Autonomy Complexity Ecology Imagination Mediated discourse analysis Space and place Social learning spaces 

Notes

Acknowledgement

I would like to thank my research partners, Naomi Fujishima and Mariko Uzuka, for their invaluable contribution and support, without which the study discussed in this chapter would not have been possible. In turn, we three are grateful to the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) [No. 23520674] which enabled us to extend our initial study for an additional four years.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Garold Murray
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Liberal Arts and Language EducationOkayama UniversityOkayamaJapan

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