Exploring university teachers’ understanding of learner autonomy

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Learner autonomy (LA) has received a lot of attention in ELT research. This paper explores learner autonomy in theory and practice from the teachers’ points of view. The authors first review the literature on learner autonomy and explore the relationship between learner autonomy and teachers’ beliefs. After that, they report on a qualitative study that set to examine teachers’ perspectives on learner autonomy. The study aimed at investigating the teachers’ views with regards to their definition of learner autonomy and the sources of their ideas. Based on the findings of the study, the teachers defined LA from different perspectives, reflecting their diverse experiences and perceptions about the concept. Some of the definitions are influenced by the teachers’ classroom experience while others are based on the literature. The teachers also varied in the sources of their definitions, ranging from pre- or in-service teacher training to classroom practices. This study brings new insights to the literature on LA where it sheds light into teachers' definitions of LA and the sources of these definitions, an area that has not been explored much in the literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2051-2060
Number of pages10
JournalTheory and Practice in Language Studies
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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