Autonomy in the transition from learner to teacher: A longitudinal multiple-case study

Project: Research project

Project Details


Originating in Europe in the 1970s, foreign/second language learner autonomy has become an educational goal in many parts of the world, including Mainland China and Hong Kong. In recent years, it has been well recognized that language learner autonomy depends largely on language teacher autonomy. Therefore, the development of teacher autonomy in pre-service and in-service teachers has become a relevant issue if we aspire to support and nurture autonomy in language learners. There has been, to date, very little published empirical research on the complex interaction between autonomy in language learning and autonomy in language teaching, for the same individual, over a prolonged period of time. This research examined the nature and kinds of transition from learner to teacher autonomy in the development of the same individual moving from a language learner context to a language teacher context. The research has contributed new knowledge to the longterm development of language learner and teacher autonomy and generated insights into pre-service and in-service language teacher education. It has also projected a direction for research on autonomy: A shift away from snapshot studies of classroom and out-of-class learning towards investigations of the development of autonomy over long periods of time and across settings.

Funding Source: RGC - General Research Fund (GRF)
Effective start/end date01/01/1531/12/17


  • learner autonomy
  • teacher autonomy
  • individual agency
  • self-identity
  • foreign language education


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