A Study of Chinese Learners' Beliefs in Learner Autonomy in EFL
The field of language teaching and learning has been in a constant state of motion over the last twenty years. The main change has been a shift of focus onto the language learner. The reasons for this shift are twofold: both goals of language learning and insights into the process of language learning have changed. Society has posed its demands on education and has influenced its orientation of development. Researches in the fields of psychology, cognitive psychology, sociology, linguistics and others, have added to our knowledge of how language learning takes place. These two developments have, among others, led to a greater interest in Learner Autonomy among Chinese language researchers and teachers. Considerable changes have taken place in classroom teaching.
As we all know, classroom activities involve two parties ?the teacher and the learner. Learners' attitudes towards and beliefs in language learning are the preconditions of successful classroom teaching. Therefore, they should not be ignored. This study presents a learners' perspective of learner autonomy through a questionnaire investigation and an in-depth interview. The findings inform us that the majority of Chinese college English learners are aware of their own responsibility in English learning and have some knowledge of learner autonomy in EFL, but their understanding of learner autonomy is quite shallow. Both the teacher's roles and the learner's roles are quite different from the traditional ones in the learners' eyes. They are no longer content with teachers' role as a transmitter of knowledge but favour more diversified learning environments and resources. The findings suggest that a lot of time and effort need to be taken to help the learners to foster learner autonomy. During the process of fostering learner autonomy, the mutual trust between the teacher and the learner, and the negotiation and cooperation with each other are of vital importance.