Session 2A

Michael Mifsud, Victoria University

Session Title:
Independent Learning

Current trends in language learning increasingly require teachers to create purposeful independent learning activities for students, to meet course learning outcomes in decreasing face-to-face teaching time. Although a perceived loss of control and element of KAOS in student led learning may be challenging to some educators initially, the benefits to students of well-designed autonomous learning experiences gradually translate to benefits for teachers.

Independent learning strategies such as structured collaborative work and guided community based learning, in conjunction with a diverse range of autonomous learning resources, enhance English language skills development and prepare learners well for transition to mainstream education and employment in English language environments.

In this practical workshop, participants will:
• review samples of independent learning activities and materials;
• develop ideas for independent learning activities that use these strategies for learning targeted English language skills;
• share ideas with other workshop participants; and
• discuss the experience of collaboratively designing the activities in relation to the notion of autonomous learning.

Michael is an educational developer with a broad range of experience teaching in Primary, Secondary, Vocational, Further and Higher Education, including specialisations in New Arrival (English as Another/Alternative Language), Transition and Indigenous Education. He delivers professional development to teachers of adults and has worked extensively in collaborative course design across many discipline areas. His particular expertise is in interpreting educational theory for practical application, course and assessment design, independent language learning and academic skills development in content subjects. Michael has taught and studied in diverse cultural traditions and has a keen interest in Languages, International Studies/Politics and Education.