本書的目的在提供關於「學習社群」與「學習者自學」這兩個概念在外語教育方面較新與較深入的探討，引入近年在這兩個方面的新思潮與新發展，並以台灣為場域的個案研究作為討論的具體出發點。雖然一般從事英語或外語教育方面的老師很願意接受自學的概念，自學相關的實務以及文獻，除少數例外，似乎並不結合社會文化學習理念，與新科技的結合也似乎有裹足不前的狀況。本書希望藉著深入探討新概念及比較不同的實務個案，提供讀者如何在學習社群的環境下達成鼓勵自學目的的參考。本書的第一章為全書提供一個引言與介紹，接著是第二章的文獻探討，第三章的個案研究方法論，然後是以四個章節探討外語教育之下四種不同的學習社群案例：包括第四章大學生自組外語學習社群、第五章社會人士自組英語學習社群、第六章研究生與教授共組學習社群、第七章是大學老師們自己的學習社群。接著第八章我將帶著讀者一起比較這外語教育中四種不同的自學社群面貌，並做出討論與結論(第九章)。希望這本書可以為外語自學實務提供些重要且前瞻的思考方式。 The purpose of this monograph is to provide an in-depth understanding of the concept of ‘learning community’ and ‘learner autonomy’ as applied in the context of foreign language education, taking into account recent theoretical and technological development as well as basing on a contextualized understanding of Taiwanese learners learning foreign languages. Although fostering autonomous learning has been considered almost as a common goal for second and foreign language educators, efforts in either practice or research to support autonomous foreign language learning still seem lag behind, with only a few authors coming close to embracing the recent development in sociocultural theory as well as the opportunities that modern technology affords (Geddes, 2002, Little, 2000, 2001, & Littlewood, 2002). This monograph aims to provide a synthesized and updated understanding of autonomous language learning and learning community by cross-examining case studies in which learning communities were used as a context to support learner autonomy. The monograph first provides an in-depth literature discussion of the updated conception of ‘language learner autonomy’ and ‘learning community’ (Chapter One), followed by analyzing existing literature and exemplary language learning communities (Chapter Two). After this, methodological considerations on case study will be discussed (Chapter Three). Then, it will be case studies which investigate respectively how language learner communities initiated by and for university students, young professionals, TESOL graduate students, as well as for language teacher professional development came into being and the insights derived from each of these experiences (Chapter Four to Seven). A cross case analysis chapter then reveals keys to supporting autonomous foreign language learners with learning communities (Chapter Eight and Nine). It is hoped that the insights presented here will generate useful inspiration to help advance exiting practice.