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Major Hindrances to the Development of Autonomy among Grade Nine Students in Learning English:

Volume: 
6 No. 2
Subject: 
Major Hindrances to the Development of Autonomy among Grade Nine Students in Learning English: Baso General Secondary School in Debreberhan in Focus
Published By: 
Tekle Ferede

Abstract
In order to find out the major hindrances to the development of autonomy among Grade
Nine students at Baso General Secondary School in learning English, necessary data
were collected from one hundred-fifty students, three English teachers and ten students
through questionnaire, semi-structured interview and focus group discussion
respectively. Then, the data gathered in these ways were analyzed using percentage and
mean values as well as qualitative descriptions.
The findings of the study suggest that learner factors (lack of confidence to learn
English without a teacher, learning this language only for external benefits of passing
exams and getting jobs, and lack of interest and commitment to learn English); teacher
variables (limited commitment to train students to be autonomous learners and failure
to use English for communication outside the classroom), instructional factors(absence
of opportunities for students to engage in activities that maximize the use of English
outside the classroom and to participate in planning, monitoring and evaluating
learning), and shortage of English textbooks as well as other useful resources were the
major impediments to the development of autonomy among the target students.
Finally, it was recommended that: 1)The Department of English in the target school
should organize regular awareness-raising workshops for English language teachers, 2)
Teachers of English need to train students on how to learn English independently
,counsel them to increase confidence and commitment to take charge of their own
learning, provide them with opportunities that maximize the use of English outside the
classroom, encourage students to participate in planning, monitoring and evaluating
their learning, 3) The school administration and other bodies concerned should make
concerted efforts to acquire enough English textbooks for Grade Nine, and to make
other resources accessible to students so that they engage in continued self-initiated
learning of English, and 4) Further empirical investigations need to be made to get
more insight into the factors that negatively impact on the development of autonomy in
language learning.

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