The purpose of the paper is to show how the principle of dual agency, one of the key principles of autonomous language teaching/learning, can be opera- tionalized in a higher education context. The implementation of this principle facilitates an authentic dialog between a language teacher and his/her stu- dents. The quality of this dialog is determined by teacher autonomy, linked synergistically with student autonomy. An ideal environment for both parties to practice autonomy can be built through a project-based approach.
On the basis of a case study – a year-long project with IT university students learning English for special purposes – a dynamic nature of such a dialog is presented together with the results of a successful dual agency enterprise. Additionally, some recommendations are offered with the intention of optimizing learning in a project-based method. Optimization would mean here not only maximiz- ing the development of students’ linguistic competence, but also improving their social skills and increasing independence. The recommendations are based on the author’s own action research and suggest new strategies in the development of language courses at the university. The final product of the project under discussion – an open e-book for learning English by IT students is available at: http://www.englishplusplus.jcj.uj.edu.pl.