Arab World English Journal
AWEJ Vol.2 No.3 August 2011                                                                                                   pp. 95-114

Abstract PDF
Full Paper PDF

From Spoon Feeding to Self-Feeding: Helping Learners Take Control
of Their Own Learning

Hashil Mohammed Al-Saadi
Educational Research Department
University of Sheffield, UK

Recent research findings confirm that learning becomes more effective when learners are in control of their own learning and are aware of the learning process and of themselves as learners. Learner autonomy has thus become a prominent area of research in the last three decades. This paper, therefore, argues for an autonomy-based approach to teaching and learning in Oman as an alternative to the existing model which is largely characterized by spoon-feeding and missing voice of the learner. The paper proposes a framework for a gradual handover of some of the roles traditionally held by teachers to the students, emphasizing the role of the teacher in helping students ‘feed’ themselves and minimize their over-reliance on the teacher.

Key words: Learner autonomy, learner responsibility, metacognitive knowledge, Oman,
teacher role.


Hashil Al-Sadi is a language lecturer at the Language Centre of Sultan Qaboos University
in Oman. He has been teaching English at the tertiary level for the past twelve years.
Currently, he is a PhD research student at the University of Sheffield, UK. Hashil‟s main
research interests include: learner autonomy, e-learning, inquiry-based learning and
teaching presentation skills.