Investigating undergraduate ESL learners’ readiness for autonomous learning
Abstract: The paper reports on a study which investigated undergraduate ESL (English as a Second Language) students’ readiness for autonomous learning of English. The main objectives of the study were to get a better understanding of Bangladeshi undergraduate ESL learners’ perceptions about autonomous learning and teacher-centered learning, and to identify whether they are ready for autonomous learning. The study is based on a five-point Likert Scale questionnaire survey followed by a semi-structured interview conducted with the first year students of a major public university in Bangladesh. Quantitative data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 16.0). Descriptive statistics were calculated for each variable in the questionnaire in order to describe the respondents’ perceptions about autonomous learning and teachercentered learning. Paired-samples t tests were calculated to identify any significant difference (p>0.05) in the respondents’ preference for autonomous learning to teacher-centered learning. The results show that the participants in the study prefer autonomous learning to teacher’ centered learning which may imply their readiness for autonomous learning. Though it is a commonly-held belief that teaching in Bangladesh is teacher-centered and students are heavily dependent on teachers at all levels, the study suggests the potential for implementing autonomy in undergraduate English language classes in Bangladesh.
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Published in 2014