Document 14916884

Leading the proverbial thirsty horse to water: ESL learners’ experience with language learning contracts
There is agreement among language educators that the process of language teaching and learning should
aim to develop autonomous language learners. While the advantages of autonomy seem to be quite
obvious, fostering autonomy in practice can prove to be difficult for some language learners. This paper
describes the use of learning contracts as a strategy for enhancing learner autonomy among a group of
ESL learners in a Malaysian university. Through learners’ account of their experiences with the
contracts, the study concludes that the learning contract has potential use for language learning and that
learners’ positive learning experience remains the key to the success of any endeavour seeking to
promote learner autonomy. The paper ends with some implications for teachers and learners who wish to
use the contracts as a strategy for language teaching and learning.