Impact of Time in College on Learner Autonomy: A Comparative Study on English-Major Students with Different Academic Years

Abstract

Learner autonomy (LA) is proven to have a significant impact on English learning and teaching. However, almost no research has examined the impact of students’ time at university on their LA. Therefore, this study focuses on clarifying the impact of students’ time at university on their LA by comparing students’ awareness of LA in different academic years. This research stems from the hypothesis that the more students are at university, the more their LA will increase. Designed as a comparative study, the study used a questionnaire and semistructured interviews to collect data from three groups of English majors studying in different academic years, then compared the hypothesis to check whether or not the students’ awareness of LA is affected by their time in college. The results show that the hypothesis was partly correct because the juniors and seniors had higher LA than the sophomores. However, the juniors even had higher LA than the seniors. In other words, students’ time at university changes their perception of LA. The cause of the difference in LA, besides time at university, was also the difference between high school and higher education, individual differences, or subject matters. Some suggestions profoundly given to help increase LA as well as the quality of teaching are mentioned. The big difference between teaching and learning in high school and university needs to be shortened so that students’ transition from high school to university could be smoother. Also, due to the difference between the two levels of study, first-year students need much more attention to avoid being shocked when they change their learning environment

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International Journal of Instruction

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Last time updated on 07/01/2024

This paper was published in International Journal of Instruction.

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