Fostering Learner Autonomy in Educational Settings

Sara Kashefian-Naeeini, Yousef Kouhpeyma


There is an old proverb which says “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”, the connotation of the proverb is to help somebody do something on his or her own; this can be a perfect basis for teaching a language. Autonomy is a concept which transcends beyond learning and is not only limited to educational settings. When people exert independence in their work, new horizons will be opened to them and they will be more susceptible to succeed in their lives. Teachers are not available throughout students’ lives; therefore, students must learn how to learn and how to be independent from their teachers. In today’s world with Corona pandemic in most countries, though many students receive off-line contents from their teachers, if they do not accept responsibility for their own learning, no fruitful upshots will be gained in their studies. Thus, it is mandatory for students to know what to learn and how to learn; in other words, they should practice autonomy in learning. The role of teacher in guiding learners toward gaining learners autonomy stands out. In a successful education system, there are many non-stop researches conducted to enhance the quality and efficiency of education. The present research tried to make some contribution and move in line with this purpose and to provide a compendium of information about ways to foster learner autonomy in educational settings.


Learner Autonomy; Educational Settings; University Students; Learning

Full Text:



Arikan, A. & Bakla, A. (2011). Learner autonomy online: Stories from a blogging experiences. In D. Gardner (Ed.), Fostering autonomy in language learning (pp. 240-251). Gaziantep: Zirve University.

Benson, P. (2000). Autonomy as a learners’ and teachers’ right. In B. Sinclair, I.

Benson, P. (2001) Teaching and Researching Autonomy in Language Learning. London: Longman.

Benson, P. (2008). Teachers’ and learners’ perspectives on autonomy. In T. Lamb &H. Reinders (Eds.), Learner and teacher autonomy: Concepts, realities, and responses (pp. 15-32). Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.

Benson, P. (2011).Teaching and researching autonomy (2nd ed.). London: Pearson.

Benson, P. (2003) Learner autonomy in the classroom. In D. Nunan (Ed.), Practical English Language Teaching (p. 289-308). NY: McGraw Hill.

Broady, E. and M.M. Kenning (1996). Learner autonomy: an introduction to the issues. In Promoting Learner Autonomy in University Language Teaching, edited by E. Broady and M.M. Kenning. London: AFLS in association with CILT.

Brown, J.D. (1995) The Elements of Language Curriculum: a Systematic approach to Program Development. Heinle & Heinle Publishing, Boston.

Cranker, K., & Servais, N. (2013). A move towards autonomy: Individualized educationplans for effective materials use. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 4(2), 96-124.

Dang, T. T. & Robertson, M. (2010).Impacts of learning management system on learner autonomy in EFL learning. International Education Studies, 3(3), 3-11.

Dickinson, L., & Carver, D. (1980). Learning how to learn: Steps towards self-direction in foreign language learning in schools. ELT Journal, 35(1), 1–7.

Edge, J. & Wharton, S. (1998) “Autonomy and development: living in the materials world”. In Tomlinson, B. (ed.) Materials Development in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 2959310.

Fahim, M. and Behdani.R. (2011). Critical Thinking Ability and Autonomy of Iranian EFL Learners. American Journal of Scientific Research ISSN 1450-223X, 29(2011), 59-72.

Farivar, A., Rahimi, A. (2015). The Impact of CALL on Iranian EFL Learners' Autonomy. doi: 10.1016/j.

Ghaemi, F., Hashemizadeh, M., Samimi, F., & Rahmanian. (2015). Group Learning Role in Foreign Language Learning: Group Work vs. Individual Work. ELT Voices. International Journal for Teachers of English. 5 (3), 2230-9136.

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

Kariminia, A and Salehi, S (2007) Communication strategies: English Language Departments in Iran. Journal of Language Studies (IJLS) 1/4: 287–300.

Kashefian, S., & Riazi, A, M. (2011). Beliefs and Autonomy: A Case of Iranian Students. European Journal of Social Sciences, 20(3), 425-430.

Kashefian, S., Riazi, A, M., & Salehi, H. (2012). The Role of Social Factors in Iranian University Students' Predispositions towards Autonomous Language Learning. Australian International Academic Centre, 3(2), 41-51.

Little, D. (1991).Learner autonomy 1: Definitions, issues and problems. Dublin: Authentik.

Littlewood, W. (1996). “Autonomy”: An anatomy and a framework. System, 24(4), 427-435.

Littlewood, W. (1997). Self-access: why do we want it and what can it do? In P. Benson & P. Voller (Eds.), Autonomy and independence in language learning (pp. 79-92). New York: Longman.

Littlewood, W. (2007). Communicative and task-based in language teaching in East Asian classrooms. Language Teaching, 40, 243-249. doi:10.1017/S0261444807004363.

Mahdavinia, M. &Ahmadi, L.N. (2011). Portfolio assessment: A tool for self-directed learning at post-secondary level. In D. Gardner (Ed.), Fostering autonomy in language learning (pp. 76-89). Gaziantep: Zirve University.

McGrath and T. Lamb (eds.) Learner autonomy, teacher autonomy: Future directions. London: Longman. 111-117.

McGrath, I. (2000). Teacher autonomy. In B. Sinclair, I. McGrath & T. Lamb (Eds.), Learner autonomy, teacher autonomy: Future directions, pp.100-110. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Meshkat, M., Mohammadpoor, R. (2015). Exploring the Role of CALL as a Cognitive Strategy in Rendering EFL Learners to Engage Learners in Reading Comprehension. 9 (1), 2289 – 3245.

Morrison, B. (2008).The role of the self-access centre in the tertiary language learning process. System, 36, 123-140. Doi: 10.1016/j.system.2007.10.004

Naiman, N., Froehlich, H., Stern, H. & Todesco, A. (1978). The good language learner. Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

Oxford, R. L. (Ed.). (1996). Language learning strategies around the world: Cross-cultural perspectives (No. 13). Natl Foreign Lg Resource Ctr.

Reinders, H. & Balcikanli, C. (2011). Do classroom textbooks encourage learner autonomy? Novitas-ROYAL (Researchon Young and Language), 5(2), 265-272.

Sakai, S., Takagi, A., & Chu, M.(2010).Promoting learner autonomy: Student perceptions of responsibilities in a language classroom in East Asia. Educational Perspectives, 43(12), 12-27.

Skehan, P. (1998). A Cognitive Approach to Language Learning. Oxford University Press.

Spratt, M., & Humphreys, G., & Chan, V. (2002). Autonomy and motivation: which comes first? Language Teaching Research, 6 (3), 245-266. Doi: 10.1191/1362168802lr106oa.

Stevick, E. (1980). Teaching languages: a way and ways. Rowley: Newbury House Publishers.

Ushioda, E. (2011). Why autonomy? Insights from motivation theory and research. Innovation in language learning and teaching, 5(2), 221-232. doi: 10.1080/17501229.2011.577536.

Yu, P. (2006). On the factors influencing learner autonomy in Chinese EFL contexts. Sino-US English Teaching, 5(3), 5-9.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding (IJMMU) ISSN 2364-5369
Copyright © 2014-2018 IJMMU. All rights reserved.