Iranian EFL Experienced vs. Novice Teachers’ Beliefs Regarding Learner Autonomy

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

Department of English, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran

Abstract

Learner autonomy has been described as the ultimate objective in many language teaching programs since the third quarter of the twentieth century and educators have highlighted the significant role of promoting learner autonomy in the process of language learning and teaching. However, only limited number of studies has been awarded to what leaner autonomy mean to teachers. This study addressed the gap and investigated novice and experienced teachers’ beliefs regarding learner autonomy. Forty teachers participated in two groups who were grouped based on their teaching experiences as novice and experienced teachers. A questionnaire which was adapted from British Council was administered to elicit the teachers’ beliefs regarding learner autonomy. The independent samples t-test analysis of the data revealed a significant difference between novice and experienced teachers beliefs. The findings of the present study may have some implications for teachers in promoting learner autonomy in their classes, in general, and involving learners in the process of teaching and learning, in particular. 

Keywords


Al-Shaqsi, T. S. (2009). Teachers’ beliefs about learner autonomy. In S. Borg (Ed.), Researching English language teaching and teacher development in Oman (157-165). Muscat: Ministry of Education, Oman.

Akbulut, Y. (2007). Exploration of the beliefs of novice language teachers at the first year of their teaching endeavors. Selçuk University Journal of Social Sciences Institute, 17, 1-14.

Basso. A. (2008).Fostering Learner Autonomy Through Collaborative  Projects :The case of First-Year Secondary School Pupils  (Literary Streams),Unpublished Master thesis. Abu Bekr Belkaid :University of Tlemcen.

Borg, M. (2001).Teachers’ beliefs.ELT Journal, 55 (2), 186-188.

Borg, S. (2003). Teacher cognition in language teaching: A review of research on what language teachers think, know, believe, and do. Language Teaching, 36(2), 81-109.

Borg, S., & Al-Busaidi, S. (2012).Learner Autonomy: English Language Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices. London: British Council.

Barfield, A., Ashwell, T., Carroll, M., Collins, K., Cowie, N., Critchley, M., Head, E., Nix, M., Obermeier, A. & Robertson, M.C. (2001). Exploring and defining teacher autonomy: A collaborative discussion. In A. S. Mackenzie & E. Mc Cafferty (Eds), Developing Autonomy, Proceedings of the College and University Educators’ 2001 Conference, Shizuoka, Japan, (pp. 217-22). Tokyo: The Japan Association for Language Teaching. Available at: http:/www.encounters.jp/mike/professional/publications/tchauto.html

Benson, P. (1995). A critical view of learner training. In learning learning 2(2), 2-6.

Benson, P. (2001). Teaching and researching autonomy in language learning. London: Longman.

Donaghue, H. (2003). An instrument to elicit teachers’ beliefs and assumptions. ELT Journal, 57(4), 344-351.

Hadi, Kh.&Baiche, A.(2012). Promoting Learner Autonomy in an EFL Context: Learners’ Readiness and Teachers’ Roles. (The Case of First Year Pupils in Secondary Education in Algeria)(Master’s thesis) Retrieved from http://dspace.univ-tlemcen.dz

Camilleri, G. (1997). Learner autonomy: The teachers’ views. Retrieved November

Camilleri, A. (2007). Pedagogy for autonomy, teachers’ attitudes and institutional and institutional change: A case study. In M. Jimenez Raya, &L. Secru (Eds.), challenges in teacher development: learner autonomy and intercultural competence. (pp. 81-102). Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

Chan, V. (2001). Readiness for learner autonomy: What do our learners tell us? Teaching in Higher Education, 6(4).505-519.

Chan, V. (2003). Autonomous Language Learning: the teachers’ perspectives. Teaching In Higher Education, 8(1).33-54.

Clandinin, D. J., & Connelly, F. M. (1987). Teachers’ personal knowledge:  What counts as ‘personal’ in studies of the personal. Journal of  Curriculum Studies, 19(6), 487-500

Cotterall, S. (2000).Promoting learner autonomy through the curriculum: principles for designing language courses. English Language Teaching Journal, 54(2), 109-117.

Dam, L. (1995). Learner Autonomy 3: from theory to classroom practice. Dublin: Authentik.

Dickinson, L. (1995). Autonomy and motivation: a literature review. System, 23(2), 165-174.

Finch, A. E. (2000).A formative evaluation of a task-based EFL programme for Korean University students.Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis.Manchester University. U. K.

Flores, M. A. (2002). Learning, Development, Change in the Early Years of Teaching. A Two-year Empirical Study, doctoral dissertation,  University of Nottingham.

Holec, H. (1981). Autonomy and foreign language learning. Oxford: Pergamon.

Holec, H. (Ed.) (1988). Autonomy and self-directed Learning: present fields of application. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.

Johnson, K. E. (1994). The emerging beliefs and instructional practices of pre- service English as a second language teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 10(4), 439-452.

Lamb, T. E., &Reinders, H. (Eds.). (2008). Learner and teacher autonomy: concepts, realities, and responses. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Littlejohn, A. (1985) Learner choice in language study.ELT Journal, 39(4).253-261.

Little, D. (1991).Learner autonomy: Definitions, issues and problems. Dublin: Authentik.

Lortie, D. C. (1975) School Teacher: A Sociological Study. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Nespor, J. (1987). The role of beliefs in the practice of teaching.Journal of Curriculum Studies, 19(4), 317-328.

Pajares, M. F. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and educational research: Cleaning up a messy construct. Review of Educational Research,62(3), 307-332.

Richards, J. C. (1996). Teachers' Maxims in Language Teaching. TESOL Quarterly, 30(2), 281-296.

Richards, J. C. & Lockhart, C. (1996).Reflective Teaching in Second  Language Classrooms. Cambridge: CUP.

Rokeach, M. (1968).Beliefs, attitudes, and values: A theory of organization and change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Smith, R. C. (2008). Learner autonomy (Key concepts in ELT).ELT Journal, 62 (4), 395-397.

Tabachnick, R. B., & Zeichner, K. M. (2003). Teachers’ beliefs and classroom  behaviours: Some teacher responses to inconsistency. In M. Kompf & P. M. Denicolo (Eds.), Teacher thinking twenty years on: Revisiting persisting problems and advances in education (pp. 165–175).Lisse: Swets & Zeitlinger.

Woods, D. (1996). Teacher Cognition in Language Teaching Beliefs, Decision-making, and Classroom Practice. Cambridge: CUP.