Attachment Theory: Insights into Student Postures in Autonomous Language Learning

Abstract : Attachment theory is recognized today as being a cornerstone of developmental psychology. The link between child attachments (in their relation to a primary caregiver) and various types of autonomous adult behaviours has been well established (Rholes & Simp-son, 2006). More recently, attachment theory has been used to explain some aspects of both child and adult education (Fleming, 2008; Geddes, 2006) and to facilitate understanding of certain teacher behaviours and thereby promote behaviour modification in some educational contexts (Riley, 2011). However, in applied linguistics, even though autonomy is a widely-researched concept (Benson, 2006), considered by its advocates to produce the most effective learning (Little, 2013), little, if anything, has been published on the links between language learner autonomy and attachment theory. This paper explores autonomy in language learning from an attachment theory perspective. It seeks evidence of the existence of adult attachment phenomena in university student self-report data and aims to determine the pertinence of the theory for language learning, especially in the contexts of self-access and out-of-class learning.
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Denyze Toffoli. Attachment Theory: Insights into Student Postures in Autonomous Language Learning. C. Gkonou; D. Tatzl; S. Mercer. New Directions in Language Learning Psychology, Springer, pp.55 - 70, 2015, 978-3-319-23490-8. ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-23491-5_5⟩. ⟨hal-01512306⟩

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