Investigating English Teachers' Views on the Concept of Learner Autonomy in 9th and 10th Grades in Anatolian High Schools in Turkey

Khalil, Betul (2013). Investigating English Teachers' Views on the Concept of Learner Autonomy in 9th and 10th Grades in Anatolian High Schools in Turkey. MRes thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f079

Abstract

This study investigates teachers’ views on the concept of learner autonomy, including the aspects of learning most suited to the fostering of learner autonomy, challenges to its development and its contribution to the foreign language proficiency. Participants in this study are 40 English teachers working in 9th and/or 10th Grades in Anatolian High Schools in Turkey. In this study the data collection methods used are questionnaire survey administered online and follow-up interviews conducted face-to-face with three questionnaire respondents individually. The findings indicated that the majority of the participants had positive dispositions towards the concept of learner autonomy. For them, however some areas of teaching and learning were more suited to the fostering of the concept in their classrooms than others. These were; encouraging learners to find their own explanations of classroom tasks, encouraging them to explore learning styles and procedures, assessing one’s progress weekly, assessing one’s progress monthly, deciding the course topic, establishing short-term objectives and selecting audio-visual resources, respectively. A number of challenges to the fostering of learner autonomy were reported by the teachers. These were leamer-related, institutional and socio-cultural. Finally, it was found that the majority of the participants agreed that learner autonomy could result in higher degrees of foreign language proficiency. Thus this study suggests that in-service teacher training should be arranged to support teachers in their classroom practices in relation to the fostering of learner autonomy. It also seems important that schools and teachers should be given more flexibility for making their own choices by the Ministry of National Education.

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