Pre-service English teachers' views of teacher and student responsibilities in the foreign language classroom


Egitim Arastirmalari - Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, vol.8, no.33, pp.211-226, 2008 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 33
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Journal Name: Egitim Arastirmalari - Eurasian Journal of Educational Research
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.211-226
  • Keywords: learner autonomy, teacher training, foreign language education, pre-service teachers, teacher and student responsibilities
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Problem Statement: Research in learner autonomy suggests that the concept of autonomous learning is perceived differently in different cultural and educational contexts. Therefore, before making any attempt to promote learner autonomy in a particular educational environment, it is important to investigate how ready students and their teachers appear to be to take on the autonomous learning conditions. A number of studies on learners' and teachers' readiness for learner autonomy were conducted in different language learning contexts. However, in the world in general, and in Turkey in particular, there is a need for the studies conducted on future language teachers' readiness for learner autonomy. Purpose of the Study: Aiming to bridge the gap in the literature, the purpose of this study was to explore Turkish pre-service English teachers' perceptions, attitudes, and opinions related to learner autonomy. It was hoped that such a study would provide guidance for English teacher education programs in terms of training future teachers of English in a better way to promote learner autonomy in their classes. Methods: The participants were 179 pre-service English teachers from the English Language Teaching Department of a public university in Turkey. A mixed-method path was followed by combining quantitative and qualitative research techniques. Quantitative data was analyzed by using descriptive statistics and Kolmogorov-Smirnov test for two independent samples. Qualitative data was analyzed by using the techniques of recording, transcribing, coding, and categorizing. Results: Results of the study indicated that the participants have the notion of a shared responsibility for making progress during lessons, stimulating interest and identifying weaknesses in English, making students work harder, and evaluating learning and the course; they give more responsibility to the teacher in deciding the course objectives, deciding what to learn next, choosing activities and materials, and deciding how long to spend on each activity. They also give more responsibility to students for outside class learning activities. Conclusions and Recommendations: Results of this study revealed that future English language teachers in Turkey are ready to promote learner autonomy in their classes by sharing some responsibilities of the language learning process with their students. However, in terms of better preparing those future teachers to create more effective autonomous learning environments, there still seem to be some weak points in the English teacher education curricula that need to be addressed by teacher trainers.