A creative alliance between learner autonomy and English language learning: Pakistani University teachers’ beliefs

    Musarat Yasmin Affiliation
    ; Ayesha Sohail Affiliation


Learner autonomy has been a focus of research for last three decades. Not only the nature of phenomenon was investigated but also its role in foreign language learning attracted researchers’ interests. The present paper examines the mutual creative relationship between learner autonomy and target foreign language acquisition. Following an interpretive paradigm, this qualitative study used semi-structured interviews to explore the beliefs of 16 university teachers of English language teaching in four public sector universities of province Punjab, Pakistan. Results revealed a close creative connection between learner autonomy and English language learning. Teachers believed that autonomy in learners accelerates language learning. Major aspects of learner autonomy were reported fulfilling the perceived needs of foreign language learning. The study implied that fostering of autonomy in learners accelerates target language proficiency.

Article in English.

Kūrybinė jungtis tarp studento autonomijos ir anglų kalbos mokymosi: Pakistano universiteto dėstytojų nuomonės


Studento autonomijai dėmesys skiriamas tris pastaruosius dešimtmečius. Buvo ne tik nagrinėjamas reiškinio pobūdis, tyrėjų interesus taip pat patraukė jo vaid muo, mokantis užsienio kalbų. Šiame straipsnyje analizuojamas abipusis kūrybinis santykis tarp studento autonomijos ir įvaldytos užsienio kalbos objekto. Remiantis interpretavimo paradigma, šiame kokybiniame tyrime naudojamasi pusiau struktūruotais interviu, siekiant išsiaiškinti 16-os anglų kalbos universiteto dėstytojų nuomones keturiuose viešojo sektoriaus Pandžabo (Pakistanas) provincijos universitetuose. Rezultatai atskleidė glaudų kūrybinį ryšį tarp studento autonomijos ir anglų kalbos mokymosi. Dėstytojai buvo įsitikinę, kad studentų autonomija spartina kalbos mokymąsi. Buvo paskelbta, kad pagrindiniai studentų autonomijos aspektai atitiko pastebėtus poreikius mokantis užsienio kalbos. Tyrimas atskleidė, kad studentų autonomijos skatinimas spartina pagrindinių kalbos įgūdžių įgijimą.

Reikšminiai žodžiai: anglų kalbos mokymasis, anglų kalbos dėstymas, kalbos besimokančiojo savybės, studento autonomija, studento motyvacija.

Keyword : English language learning (ELL), English teaching, language learner attributes, learner autonomy (LA), learner motivation

How to Cite
Yasmin, M., & Sohail, A. (2018). A creative alliance between learner autonomy and English language learning: Pakistani University teachers’ beliefs. Creativity Studies, 11(1), 1-9.
Published in Issue
Mar 27, 2018
Abstract Views
PDF Downloads
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Alzeebaree, Y., & Yavuz, M. (2016). Learner autonomy: Iraqi EFL teachers’ beliefs. European Scientific Journal, 12(31), 59-71.

Alzubi, A. A. F., & Singh, M. K. M. (2017). The Use of language learning strategies through smartphones in improving learner autonomy in EFL reading among undergraduates in Saudi Arabia. International Journal of English Linguistics, 7(6), 59-72.

Apple, M. (2011). Autonomy as a predictor of English proficiency. OnCUE Journal, 4(3), 191-216.

Bailey, C. A. (2007). A guide to qualitative field research. Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi: Pine Forge Press.

Benson, P. (2001). Teaching and researching autonomy in language learning. Series: Applied linguistics in action. Ch. N. Candlin, D. R. Hall (General Eds.). Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

Benson, P. (2011). Teaching and researching autonomy (2nd ed.). London and New York: Routledge.

Benson, P., & Chik, A. (2010). New Literacies and Autonomy in foreign language learning. In M. J. Luzón, M. N. Ruiz-Madrid, M. L. Villanueva (Eds.), Digital genres, new literacies and autonomy in language learning (pp. 63-80). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Borg, S., & Al-Busaidi, S. (2012). Teachers’ beliefs and practices regarding learner autonomy. ELT Journal, 66(3), 283-292.

Breen, M. P., & Mann, S. J. (2013). Shooting arrows at the sun: Perspectives on a pedagogy for autonomy. In Ph. Benson, P. Voller (Eds.), Autonomy and independence in language learning (pp. 132-149). Series: Applied linguistics and language study. Ch. N. Candlin (General Ed.). London and New York: Routledge.

Candy, Ph. C. (1991). Self-direction for lifelong learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Dafei, D. (2007). An exploration of the relationship between learner autonomy and English proficiency. Asian EFL Journal. Retrieved from

Dam, L. (1995). Learner autonomy: from theory to classroom practice (Vol. 3). Dublin: Authentik Language Learning Resources Ltd.

Hashemian, M., & Soureshjani, K. H. (2011). The interrelationship of autonomy, motivation, and academic performance of Persian L2 learners in distance education contexts. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 1(4), 319-326.

Hedge, T. (2000). Teaching and learning in the language classroom. Series: Oxford Handbooks for Language Teachers. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hesse-Biber, S. N., & Leavy, P. (2006). The practice of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi: SAGE Publications.

Holec, H. (1981). Autonomy and foreign language learning. Oxford/New York: Pergamon Press.

Hrochová, L. (2012). Relationship between learner autonomy and language proficiency. Thesis. University of West Bohemia. Plzeň. Retrieved from

Johnson, T. R., & Krug, K. (1980). Integrative and instrumental motivations: in search of a measure. In J. W. Jr. Oller, & K. Perkins (Eds.), Research in language testing (pp. 241-249). Rowley, Mass: Newbury House.

Lamb, T. (2010). Assessment of autonomy or assessment for autonomy? Evaluating learner autonomy for formative purposes. In A. Paran, & L. Sercu (Eds.), Testing the untestable in language education (pp. 98-119). Series: New Perspectives on Language & Education. Bristol, Buffalo, Toronto: Multilingual Matters.

Legenhausen, L. (2003). Second language acquisition in an autonomous learning environment. In D. Little, J. Ridley, & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Learner autonomy in the foreign language classroom: teacher, learner, curriculum and assessment (pp. 65–77). Dublin: Authentik.

Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Newbury Park, London, New Delhi: SAGE Publications.

Little, D. (1991). Learner autonomy 1: definitions, issues and problems. Dublin: Authentik Language Learning Resources.

Little, D. (2001). We’re all in it together: exploring the interdependence of teacher and learner autonomy. In L. Karlsson, F. Kjisik, & J. Nordlund (Eds.), All together now: papers from the 7th Nordic Conference and Workshop on Autonomous Language (pp. 45-56). Helsinki: Helsinki University, Language Center.

Little, D. (2007). Language learner autonomy: some fundamental considerations revisited. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 1(1), 14-29.

Little, D. (2009). Learner autonomy in action: adult immigrants learning English in Ireland. In F. Kjisik, P. Voller, N. Aoki, & Y. Nakata (Eds.), Mapping the terrain of learner autonomy: Learning environments, learning communities and identities (pp. 51-85). Tampere: Tampere University Press.

Lowe, M. (2007). Films in English language teaching. IH Journal, 23, 16-19.

McLoughlin, C., & Lee, M. J. W. (2010). Personalised and self regulated learning in the web 2.0 era: International exemplars of innovative pedagogy using social software. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(1), 28-43.

Myartawan, I. P., Latief, N. W., & Suharmanto, M. A. (2013). The correlation between learner autonomy and English proficiency of Indonesian EFL college learners. TEFLIN Journal, 24(1), 63-81.

Pluck, G., & Johnson, H. (2011). Stimulating Curiosity to Enhance Learning. GESJ: Education Science and Psychology 2(19): 24-31.

Sakai, Sh., & Takagi, A. (2009). Relationship between learner autonomy and English language proficiency of Japanese learners. The Journal of Asia TEFL, 6(3), 297-325.

Salimi, A., & Ansari, N. (2015). Learner autonomy: Investigating Iranian English teachers’ beliefs. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 5(5), 1106-1115.

Schumann, J. H. (1978). The Pidgination process: A model for second language acquisition. Rowley, Mass: Newbury House Publishers.

Shahsavari, S. (2014). Efficiency, feasibility and desirability of learner autonomy based on teachers’ and learners’ point of views. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 4(2), 271-280.

Stirin, K., Ganzach, Y., Pazy, A., E. & den, D. (2012). The effect of perceived advantage and disadvantage on performance: The role of external efficacy. Applied Psychology, 61(1), 81-96.

Sweeting, A. (2009). Language through Film. Sydney: Phoenix Education Pty.

Sweeting, A. (2010). Film-based activities to overcome the “gap-fill syndrome”. English Australia Journal, 25(2), 51-57.

Tasneen, W. (2010). Literary texts in the language classroom: A study of teachers’ and students’ views at international schools in Bangkok. Asian EFL Journal, 12(4), 173-187.

Tehan, P., Yuksel, D., & Inan, B. (2015). The place of literature in an English language teaching program: What do students think about it?. The Reading Matrix: An International Online Journal, 15(2), 45-52.

Ünal, S., Çeliköz, N., Sarı, İ. (2017). EFL proficiency in language learning and learner autonomy perceptions of Turkish learners. Journal of Education and Practice, 8(11), 117-122.

Ushioda, E. (1996). Learner autonomy 5: The role of motivation. Dublin: Authentik: Language Learning Resources.

Ushioda, E. (2011). Why autonomy? Insights from motivation theory and research. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 5(2), 221-232.

Xhaferri, B., Waldispühl, M., Xhaferri, G., & Eriksson-Hotz, B. (2015). Students’ and teachers’ beliefs about learner autonomy at SEEU Tetovo, Macedonia and PH Zug, Switzerland: A comparative study. In B. Xhaferri, M. Waldispühl, B. Eriksson-Hotz, & G. Xhaferri (Eds.), Promoting learner autonomy in higher education (pp. 9-38). Tetovo: South East European University.

Yasmin, M., Sarkar, M., & Sohail, A. (2016). Exploring English language needs in the hotel industry in Pakistan: An evaluation of existing teaching material. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education, 28(4), 202-213.

Yasmin, M., Sohail, A., & Mangrio, R. A. (2015). Myths broken or sustained: Representation of women victims in Pakistani media. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 3, 209-219.

Yasmin, M., Sohail, A.; Sarkar, M., & Hafeez, R. (2017). Creative methods in transforming education using human resources. Creativity Studies, 10(2), 145-158.