The concept of learner autonomy is relatively new to the context of teaching English as a foreign language (EL) in Thailand. Research studies in regard to learner autonomy especially in secondary school context and how the concept was viewed from the teacher’s perspective were lacking. This research report has attempted to fill in this gap by examining how Thai EFL teachers view the concept of learner autonomy and how they promote it in their classrooms.
The study employed mix research method. The quantitative questionnaires were used to determine the extent to which the FL teachers promoted learner autonomy in their classrooms. The qualitative interview study was used to explore the teachers’ perceptions of learner autonomy. Challenges of promoting learner autonomy in EFL classrooms were also investigated.
The results from the questionnaire revealed that Thai EFL teachers promoted learner autonomy in their classrooms from moderate to great extent.
It was also revealed that although they regarded learner autonomy as a vitally important concept, they did not promote it in their classroom as much as they supported it. The interviews also revealed three aspects of the challenges for promoting autonomous learning: teacher’s readiness to promote learner autonomy; learner’s readiness to be autonomous in learning; and the lack of learning resources in school. The results suggested that professional development programmes for teachers and improvement of educational technology in school are essential to the successful implementation of learner autonomy in EFL classrooms in Thailand.
Keywords: learner autonomy, teacher’s perception, EFL classroom