Self-determination theory describes human motivation in terms of how individuals control their lives and environments. Central to this theory is the concept of autonomy, the sense that our actions are internally directed. In this presentation, we will discuss how teachers can make their classrooms places of autonomous learning. We offer clear definitions and examples of self-determined teaching and learning, and then present recent research findings which corroborate these ideas. These findings will be used to make clear recommendations for teachers on how to create an autonomous, self-determined learning environment for all levels of language classes.
Quint Oga-Baldwin has taught at every level of the Japanese education system. He currently trains future elementary and junior high school teachers. His research interests include elementary foreign language education, student engagement and motivation, and teacher education.
Neil McClelland is an Associate Professor at the University of Kitakyushu and has more than twenty years of experience teaching in Japan. Research interests include language learning motivation and the application of Psychology in Applied Linguistics.