Fostering Learner Autonomy among Pre-Service EFL Teachers: A Mixed-Method Study
This study reports on the process how pre-service EFL teachers developed as autonomous learners during a 14-week period in a Turkish higher education context. The participants included 25 freshman pre-service teachers, 11 males and 14 females, studying at an English language teacher education program of a state university. A course, specifically designed to improve students’ autonomy was taken by the participants and multiple forms of data collection tools were employed throughout the study. The Autonomous Learning Scale (ALS) developed by Macaskill and Taylor (2010) was used at the beginning and the end of the course, the participants were asked to write reflection reports and they were also interviewed at the end of the process. The findings demonstrated a significant change in the autonomy level of participants, specifically a dramatic change in their independence of learning. Besides, it was found that being more aware of the self, taking charge of their own learning and changing perspectives towards the notion of learning were the biggest gains of the process for the participants. In line with literature, the findings were discussed and several suggestions were made on how to integrate autonomy practices into teacher education programs.
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