EFL Teachers’ Autonomy Supportive Practices for Out-of-Class Language Learning

Download (PDF, 303KB)

Tuba Işık, Erzincan Binali Yildirim University, Turkey
Cem Balçıkanlı, Gazi University, Turkey
Email: tuba.turkel@erzincan.edu.tr
Published: November 27, 2020

Citation: Işık, T., & Balçıkanlı, C. (2020). EFL Teachers’ Autonomy Supportive Practices for Out-of-Class Language Learning. IAFOR Journal of Education: Studies in Education, 8(4). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.8.4.04


Autonomy support is a recently defined role for teachers, and they are expected to help learners engage in autonomous out-of-class learning. With a focus on English language learning outside the classroom, this study intended to uncover English as a foreign language teachers’ practices related to autonomy support and to discuss the challenges faced by the teachers in this process. Eleven teachers working at the tertiary level at a state university in Turkey were interviewed. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in three sessions to find out the extent to which the teachers help their learners become autonomous. The findings revealed that the teachers perform many autonomy-supportive behaviors which are feasible in language classrooms such as motivating students, giving language advice and promoting peer collaboration. In doing this, the teachers utilize five different support mechanisms: affective, resource, capacity, technology, and social support. On the other hand, the findings uncovered such constraints as crowded classes, overloaded curriculum, and low learner motivation. These challenges were perceived as barriers hampering teachers’ efforts for autonomy support. This study highlights the feasibility of creating an autonomy-supportive language learning environment and provides implications for teachers of English as a Foreign Language.


autonomy support, learner autonomy, learning, out-of-class language, teacher, technology