A Review on Language Learner Autonomy Research in China (2006-2016): Based on 12 Key Domestic Journals

  •  Chuying Ou    


Since the implementation of the 2001 curriculum reform and the release of the 2004 college English requirements, learner autonomy has become one of the most important research themes in the field of ELT in China, especially college English, reflecting the tendency of a learner-centered teaching approach. In this paper, I have reviewed 39 studies about language learner autonomy from 133 articles selected in key journals targeting language education published in mainland China from 2006 to 2016, so as to see what have been the features of related research through the years. In the review process, it is found that influencing factors, improving methods as well as evaluation approaches of learner autonomy have been the dominant themes that attract Chinese researchers’ concern. Among them, improving methods of language learner autonomy have drawn even more attention from Chinese scholars, which have mainly addressed issues related to teachers, learner training and autonomous learning environment. It is also observed that empirical studies have been dominant through the decade and more types of students have been involved in research. However, I also note that there is still deficiency with such studies of language learner autonomy, so suggestions are provided for researchers in the field.

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