The Challenges and the Possible Solutions in Fostering Learner Autonomy in ESL Classrooms:

ESL Teachers’ Voices

  • Sharina Saad Universiti Teknologi Mara Kedah Branch
Keywords: Learner autonomy, classroom practices, challenges, solutions, Malaysian tertiary context


With the increasing focus on learner-centeredness, the concept of autonomous learning has been gaining consideration in the field of language teaching. While a great deal of research has been done on the concept and development of learner autonomy, limited studies have investigated whether these teachers were facing obstacles while trying to implement ways and means of classroom practices of teachers in fostering learner autonomy in tertiary-level ESL classrooms. This paper deals with the concept of learner autonomy and its challenges and strategies to implement in the language classroom at the tertiary level in Malaysia. A qualitative methodological process is followed such as a semi-structured interview. The newly gained insights from this study will inspire teachers to adopt useful methods and plan their lessons making them suitable for learners’ involvement and the learners awake to their huge potential as confident, independent, and adult learners to help them to reweave their thoughts concerning modes of learning and walk through a superior world of knowledge by the guidance of their teachers. This paper aims to find a clear view of the reasons for using learner autonomy inside the classroom; its significance from the teachers' and learners’ perspectives and give some effective suggestions to make learner autonomy familiar in the context of Malaysia especially at the tertiary level. Based on finding this paper tries to put some recommendations for further consideration which would be useful to novice teachers as well as policy makers.