Document Type : Research Paper


University of Tehran


Teachers’ beliefs play a determining role in the decisions they make and the strategies they employ to foster learner autonomy. Therefore, their beliefs and the strategies they use to foster autonomy merit additional empirical evidence. This study investigated the beliefs of 85 English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Kurdish teachers towards learner autonomy and examined the influence of their experience in this regard. The data was collected using a newly developed questionnaire addressing learner autonomy from eight dimensions; the questionnaire encouraged teachers to reflect on their beliefs relating to learner autonomy. The findings indicated that teachers generally possess positive attitudes towards learner autonomy. Experienced teachers placed significantly greater emphasis on the psychological and political factors, the contributions of learner autonomy, and learning materials. The qualitative data indicated that both novice and experienced teachers stressed the importance of promoting autonomy through learner-centered teaching methods and student engagement. Experienced teachers employed more varied teaching methods and assessment techniques. While novice teachers preferred direct observation of their students during tasks and activities, experienced teachers adopted a more hands-off approach. The study underscores teachers' commitment to fostering independent learning across different dimensions of teaching practices. The differences in beliefs and strategies between novice and experienced teachers highlight the transformative impact of teaching experience on the promotion of learner autonomy. The findings implied that professional development programs should focus on shaping teachers’ beliefs towards using teaching strategies that foster autonomy.


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