Challenges in Promoting EFL Learners' Autonomy: Iranian EFL Teachers’ Perspectives

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

Assistant Professor, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Iran

Abstract

Learner autonomy (LA) has always been a controversial issue among applied linguists. Several studies have been carried out to investigate the teachers' and learners' perceptions of learner autonomy as well as the feasibility of learner autonomy. Despite the importance of learner autonomy and the existence of several related studies, the challenges in promoting LA in Iranian institutes to the researcher’s best of knowledge have not been explored appropriately, yet. The main objective of the present study was to investigate the challenges in promoting learner autonomy from Iranian EFL teachers' perspectives. To do so, a qualitative research design was used. In doing so, 23 Iranian EFL teachers employed as full time teachers in different universities in Tehran, Iran were selected through purposive sampling. The data were collected through in-depth interviews and analyzed through content analysis following Randor model. Based on the content analysis of the interviews, three different themes were extracted. The firs most frequent observed theme, institution related challenges, consisted of prescribed objectives, materials, and assessment methods. The second theme, learner related challenges, consisted of seven sub-themes. However, the third extracted theme was teacher related challenges which consisted of four sub-themes. The findings can be used by teacher trainers, teachers, as well as EFL learners. It can be concluded that EFL teachers should receive training in learner autonomy through both pre-service and in-service training courses        

Keywords


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