Interface Between Learner Autonomy and Group Dynamics: The Case of Iranian EFL Learners

Document Type : Research Article


Sheikhbahaee University


This descriptive study looked into Persian learners’ autonomy and its ties with in-class group dynamics. The participants were undergraduate learners and M.A. students together with their teachers. Data were collected, using a questionnaire, on the participants’ beliefs about autonomy, their autonomous behaviors, and their perceptions of group norms and group cohesiveness. Corresponding teachers, however, provided data just on their learners’ group norms and cohesiveness. Data were analyzed using a Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test, a Man-Whitney U test, the Kendall’s-tau b correlation coefficient and a Kruskal-Wallis test. Results revealed that the participants’ autonomous beliefs were not much realized in their behaviors. However, the participants and their instructors had similar ideas about how cohesive their classes were. It was also found that the length of time the participants spent in the academic setting positively correlated with their autonomous behaviors and their group cohesiveness. Overall, the results suggested that a more serious approach to training both democratic L2 teachers and autonomous L2 learners should be taken in the Iranian context of education.


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