Fostering learner autonomy in english for science : A collaborative digital video project in a technological learning environment

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-86
Journal / PublicationLanguage Learning and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


This paper reports on the syllabus design and implementation of an English for Science and Technology (EST) course at an English-medium university in Hong Kong. The course combined elements of project-based learning and a "pedagogy for multiliteracies" (New London Group, 1996) to produce a strong learner autonomy focus. A major component of the course was a student-centered digital video project, in which students created and shared a multimodal scientific documentary. A range of new technologies and Web 2.0 platforms (including YouTube and Edublogs) were integrated into the project process in order to create a technologically rich learning environment. The design of this structured technological learning environment was informed by existing case studies of students' autonomous language learning in unstructured online spaces. In this paper, we draw on students' accounts (from questionnaires, focus group interviews, and Weblog comments) to evaluate the digital video project and associated technological environment. In particular, we describe the potential of the project to provide students with opportunities to exercise their capacities as autonomous learners within a structured language learning context. © 2011.

Research Area(s)

  • Digital storytelling, Digital video, English for Science and Technology, Learner autonomy, Qualitative research methods, Syllabus design