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Title: Autonomy and motivation : which comes first?
Authors: Spratt, M
Humphreys, G
Chan, V
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Source: Language teaching research, 2002, v. 6, no. 3, p. 245-266 How to cite?
Journal: Language teaching research 
Abstract: When motivation has been discussed in relation to autonomy in language learning, it has often been put forward as a product of autonomy. This paper suggests a more complex relationship in which motivation in many cases precedes autonomy. It discusses some of the relevant literature and presents results from a large-scale study of Hong Kong tertiary students.
The study aimed to assess students’ readiness for learner autonomy in language learning by examining their views of their responsibilities and those of their teachers’, their confidence in their ability to operate autonomously and their assessment of their level of motivation to learn English. It also investigated their actual practice of autonomous learning in the form of both outside and inside class activities. Results indicated that motivation played a key role in this readiness, and this led the authors to look at the relationship between autonomy and motivation as revealed in the study and in the literature.
The findings lead the authors to conclude that motivation is a key factor that influences the extent to which learners are ready to learn autonomously, and that teachers might therefore endeavour to ensure motivation before they train students to become autonomous.
ISSN: 1362-1688 (print)
1477-0954 (online)
DOI: 10.1191/1362168802lr106oa
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