Learner Views on Learner Autonomy: What Teachers Can Do

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Maho Sano, Soka University; Koki Tomita, Soka University

Learner autonomy is a complex human behavior that has been extensively investigated since Holec defined it as “the ability to take charge of one’s own learning” in 1981. For the last three decades, research regarding learner autonomy has mainly focused on elements of learner autonomy such as reflection, taking responsibility, and selecting strategies to learn. In the current research we investigated Japanese EFL students’ perceptions toward responsibility in their language learning and their abilities to take charge of responsibility by targeting high and low proficiency learners. For this study, an online questionnaire was employed with 72 high and 66 lower proficiency learners. After the survey, semistructured interviews were conducted with 16 participants from the 2 groups to identify deeper meaning in the questionnaire responses. Based on the findings, the paper introduces level-appropriate autonomy-enhancing practices as educational implications.