Self access language learning centers are educational facilities designed for student learning that is at least partially, benefits of learning centers in the classroom pdf not fully self-directed. Students have access to resources ranging from photocopied exercises with answer keys to computer software for language learning. These centers are an outgrowth of a style of learning that can go by several names: learner-centered approach, learner autonomy or self-directed learning. These centers exist primarily in Asia, Europe and North America.
Use of such facilities and the pedagogical theory they are based upon has its advantages and disadvantages. Proper use can result in a feeling of empowerment and better learning outcomes, but getting to the point where students and teachers can exploit them effectively can be problematic. For this reason, the structure of established self access centers varies from completely student-directed work with classroom immersion to programs that provide primarily tutor or instructor guidance for student work. Self access language learning promotes the approach where students study independently choosing from among different resources that are available.
The theory behind this style of learning is that students, especially foreign language students, learn better if they have a say in how they learn. This style of instruction is most often done in the setting of a self-contained learning environment or self-access center. Self-access centers can be as simple as a classroom set aside with dictionaries and shelves of paper-based exercises to state-of-the-art digital centers with various types of computer- and Internet-based resources.