- for situations in which learners study entirely on their own;
- for a set of skills which can be learned and applied in self-directed learning;
- for an inborn capacity which is suppressed by institutional education;
- for the exercise of learners' responsibility for their own learning;
- for the right of learners to determine the direction of their own learning.
Within the context of education, though, there seem to be seven main attributes characterising autonomous learners (see Omaggio, 1978, cited in Wenden, 1998: 41-42):
- Autonomous learners have insights into their learning styles and strategies;
- take an active approach to the learning task at hand;
- are willing to take risks, i.e., to communicate in the target language at all costs;
- are good guessers;
- attend to form as well as to content, that is, place importance on accuracy as well as appropriacy;
- develop the target language into a separate reference system and are willing to revise and reject hypotheses and rules that do not apply; and
- have a tolerant and outgoing approach to the target language.
In conclusion, learner autonomy is up to us to be implemented, even if we find constrains, such as educational system, colleagues and so forth, we must foster autonomy in our learners.