Researching the spatial dimension of learner autonomy

Garold Murray

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAutonomy in Language Learning and Teaching
Subtitle of host publicationNew Research Agendas
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781137529985
ISBN (Print)9781137529978
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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