Vol. 7 No. 1 (1999)

Towards Learner Autonomy in the Teaching of Writing: A UWI Study

Valerie Youssef
The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus
Paula Morgan
The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine


  • The University of the West Indies,
  • St. Augustine,
  • Writing,
  • University Courses,
  • Teaching Methods,
  • Independent Study Methods,
  • Trinidad and Tobago,
  • Distance Education
  • ...More


This paper assesses the mounting of a tertiary level writing course, English for Academic Purposes, at The University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine via the use of a set of self-instructional printed materials, with reduced teacher-student contact. It indicates that the move to a learner-based approach was quite successful for the group of 48 mature students who took it, as assessed from the low drop-out rate, high success rate, and positive motivation expressed. Students were able to control their own time resources for assimilation of print materials and the meeting of coursework deadlines. The body of printed materials seems to have given them a sense of security which mitigated their concern as to increased responsibility for the learning process. All in all, the project bodes well for a shift across to meaningful learner-based education at the tertiary level throughout the Caribbean region, in order to more effectively reach those persons who are unable to physically meet the demamds of face-to-face education.