15 July 2022 LAb

8th LAb session. Friday 15th July 2022. Autonomy and learner engagement

Full schedule, recordings, abstracts and presenter bios

Featured speakers

  • Jason Brown, Thompson Rivers University, Canada: Emotional Engagement: The Dynamo Powering Directed Motivational Currents (Abstract and recording)
  • Ashlee (Shiyao) Zhou, Hainan University, China: The Construct of Engagement and its Important Role in EFL Writing Classes (Abstract and recording)

Learner engagement is a leading prerequisite for meaningful learning to take place (Hiver, Al-Hoorie, & Mercer, 2021; Hiver et al., 2021). It is often defined as active participation and involvement in learning tasks and activities and frequently intersects with motivation, agency, autonomy and strategy use (Hiver, Al-Hoori, & Mercer, 2021). Dörnyei (2019) describes learner engagement as a combination of motivation and implementation, so action on the part of both learners and teachers, is a key characteristic of this construct. It has cognitive, behavioral, emotional and social dimensions, and when understood as ‘agentic engagement’, is associated with autonomous motivation and the support provided by the learning environment (Reeve, 2022).

In our 8th LAb session, we featured talks from colleagues in all contexts around the world who helped us add to our understanding of this growing area of research and, in particular, answer these questions:

  • How can language educators establish optimal learning environments conducive to promoting engagement? 
  • What roles can learners play in shaping their own learning environments and learning experiences to promote engagement?
  • How can we research engagement in language education?
  • How are the theoretical frameworks for autonomy and engagement connected?
  • What is next for the field of engagement?

We featured research and practice-based presentations from early-career researchers, practicing teachers and learning advisors or more established scholars. 

Presentation types:

  • Descriptions of practice (How do you engage learners through your teaching and advising, in class or beyond the classroom?)
  • Research summaries (What research have you started in this area? What have you found so far? What advice do you have for others conducting such research?)
  • Live discussion of the theme with other participants
  • Tributes to Zoltán Dörnyei

This theme also partially served as a tribute to the late Professor Zoltán Dörnyei who contributed so much to the field of language education. We honored his memory at the event.

Event information:

  • Location: Online
  • Date: Friday 15th July 2022 
  • Schedule for the live sessions: 9:00-11:00 am and 3:00-4:45 pm JST
  • Deadline for papers for Relay Journal: September 10th, 2022

Further reading

Dörnyei, Z. (2019). Task motivation: What makes an L2 task engaging? In Z. Wen & M. J. Ahmadian (Eds.), Researching L2 task performance and pedagogy: In honour of Peter Skehan (pp. 53– 66). John Benjamins.

Hiver, P., Al-Hoorie, A. H., & Mercer, S. (Eds.) (2021). Student engagement in the language classroom. Multilingual Matters.

Hiver, P., Al-Hoorie, A. H., Vitta, J. P., & Wu, J. (2021). Engagement in language learning: A systematic review of 20 years of research methods and definitions. Language Teaching Research. https://doi.org/10.1177/13621688211001289

Reeve, J. (2022). What it means to ‘take ownership over one’s own learning’ in a self-determination theory analysis. In J. Mynard & S. J. Shelton-Strong (Eds.), Autonomy support beyond the language learning classroom: A self-determination theory perspective (pp. 31-45). Multilingual Matters.

Mercer, S., & Dörnyei, Z. (2020). Engaging language learners in contemporary classrooms. Cambridge University Press. http://doi.org/10.1017/9781009024563  

Oga-Baldwin, W. L. Q. (2019). Acting, thinking, feeling, making: The engagement process in language education. System, 86, 102–120.