Readiness for Autonomy in English Language Learning: The Case of Indonesian High School Students

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Education, University of York, York, UK

2 Department of English, Faculty of Languages and Arts, Universitas Negeri Surabaya


The notion of learner autonomy has attracted the close attention of scholars, teachers, policy makers and researchers in various countries. In Indonesia, while its scope remains limited, learner independence is one of the highlights of the current curriculum. The purpose of this study was threefold: to investigate how Indonesian secondary school students conceptualized the construct of learner autonomy; to ascertain the extent to which students were motivated to learn English; and to estimate how ready they were to participate in the teaching-learning process as autonomous learners. The study employed a mixed-methods approach and recruited 391 participants – EFL students and teachers – from urban and suburban schools, classified as state and private institutions. The data were collected using questionnaires and focus group interviews. The findings revealed that many students were not familiar with the concept of learner autonomy. They also had fairly low motivation to learn English and generally were not ready to act as autonomous learners, lacking the typical skills and competences. The results indicate that Indonesian students need to be trained in planning their learning process, setting objectives and taking a more active role in negotiating the teaching-learning process.