Free Public Lecture - Professor Lawrence Zhang

When:26 Jul 2016, 4pm - 5:30pm
Venue:Room 119 John Goodsell Building, UNSW Kensington Campus
Who:Professor Lawrence Zhang
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Metacognition and Learner Autonomy: Reopening the Debate on 40 Years of Language Learner Strategy (LLS) Research


It has taken over 40 years for language learning/learner strategies (LLS) research to come to terms with the status quo it enjoys today. Criticisms against LLS research abound, which is beneficial to advancing the field. Reactions are equally vehement.

Participation in this discussion as an academic exercise aims to bring to the fore metacognition in relation to learner autonomy, because central to what has been proposed by Dörnyei as a replacement of LLS is self-regulated learning (SRL), which, unfortunately, is equally problematic.

Theorising metacognition as being complex and dynamic entails that the construct has to maintain continuous change and adaptation. Such change and adaptation is to be enacted upon by learners and induced by the learning tasks, task environments, and sociocultural-sociopolitical contexts, where learning takes place in its “situated” locales. In order to become strategic in language learning, with an ultimate aim of “taking control” of their learning, learners need to reconsider their actions and decisions in the learning process towards learner autonomy.

The lecture will conclude with a discussion about how such positioning might be able to offer insight into research on L2 learner development in both theoretical and practical terms.

Free Public Lecture - Professor Lawrence ZhangAbout Professor Lawrence Zhang

Lawrence Jun Zhang, PhD, is Professor of Linguistics-in-Education (Personal Chair) and Associate Dean International Partnerships, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland, New Zealand. A past Post-Doctoral Fellow at University of Oxford, he was the recipient of “The TESOL Award for Distinguished Research” in 2011 for his paper published in TESOL Quarterly, 44(2), “A dynamic metacognitive systems perspective on Chinese university EFL readers.”

His interests include L2 learner metacognition, L2 reading, L2 writing, L2 reading-writing integration, and L2 teacher education. He has published over 100 journal articles, book chapters, and reviews in English and Chinese. His recent work has appeared in a number of English-medium journals, including British Journal of Educational Psychology, Instructional Science, System, TESOL Quarterly, Modern Language Journal, Applied Linguistics Review, RELC Journal, and Journal of Second Language Writing. His recent co-edited(with Dr Ben Said) book is Language Teachers and Teaching: Global Rules, Local Roles (Routledge, 2014). He has also been invited to deliver plenary addresses at international conferences in the USA, the UK, mainland China, Taiwan, and Indonesia, among others.

He is currently an editor for TESOL Quarterly’s Brief Reports and Summaries section and for many years has served as an editorial board member of Journal of Second Language Writing, Writing and Pedagogy, System, RELC Journal, and Metacognition & Learning. In 2016, he was honoured by the TESOL International Association (USA) with the award of “50 at 50", which acknowledged "50 Outstanding Leaders" in the profession of TESOL when the Association celebrated its 50th anniversary. He was Principal Investigator of a Singapore MOE-funded research project (200K NZD equivalent), Co-PI of three other MOE-funded projects (500K NZD). His most recent research grant is from the National Social Sciences Fund of China, for An Ethnographic Study of Chinese Scholars’ Experiences in Writing and Publishing Academic Works in English: An Intercultural Rhetoric Approach (RMB 200,000 or NZ$42,000), in collaboration with Shanghai Maritime University professor Dr John Mu (April 2014 - April 2017).

All Public Lectures are registered at Professional Competence level with BOSTES and are followed by a Q&A session with the presenter and light refreshments.

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Completing this workshop will contribute 1 hour of QTC Registered PD addressing Standards 6.2.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

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