Aware and autonomous : Raising learner autonomy in deaf and hard of hearing learners


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Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Participatory Pedagogies in Language Learning : Best Practice and Case Studies
MU Faculty or unit

Support Centre for Students with Special Needs

Keywords deaf and hard of hearing learners; English as a foreign language; learner autonomy; learning strategies
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Description The Council of Europe regards the development of learner autonomy as one of the keystones of education for democratic citizenship and lifelong learning (Council of Europe 2011). The independent learning and self-regulation skills required at university level, let alone independent online learning such as during Covid-19 pandemic times, present a specific set of challenges and requirements for learners. The concept of learner autonomy holds particular importance for deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) learners who tend to employ dependent learning styles. Yet precisely low levels of learner autonomy alongside social and literacy issues represent key factors in academic failure (Scherer & Walter, 1988). After providing a short introduction into the specifics of DHH learners and their characteristics, the paper discusses possible approaches to fostering DHH learners’ autonomy, giving importance to motivational factors, effective strategy investment, progressive assuming of responsibility for one’s learning, self-reflection and confidence building. Examples are based on the authors’ teaching practice, and particularly their experience with the e-learning course Online English for International Mobilities.
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