Too bad I didn’t get to meet Leo van Lier, soul of our Institute:
“A completely passive learner will not learn. A compliant (obedient, dutiful etc.) learner will learn, because he or she employs agency, if only at the behest of others. In this way learners who study a foreign language in school because it is required, will be able to have some success and to pass tests. However, in order to make significant progress, and to make enduring strides in terms of setting objectives, pursuing goals and moving towards lifelong learning, learners need to make choices and employ agency in more self-directed ways. In addition to autonomy and related characteristics, agency is also closely connected to identity, and this emphasizes the social and dialogical side of agency: it depends not only on the individual, but also on the environment. In the classroom, an agency-promoting curriculum can awaken learners’ agency through the provision of choices and the opportunity to work as a member of a learning community on interesting and challenging projects and puzzles (Allwright & Hanks, 2009)”.