8. Overall discussion 299
8. Overall discussion 8.1. Introduction This chapter brings together findings and issues reported in Chapters 4-7 to explore the two broad questions of the study raised in Chapter 1: (1) How do students develop their autonomy within the long-term process of EFL and TEFL learning? (2) What is the relationship among agency, identity, and autonomy in the two processes of EFL and TEFL learning in the Chinese EFL context? Chapter 4 has addressed the two questions broadly through out- lining students’ developmental patterns and characteristics, and their general pathways towards autonomy in two interrelated process of EFL and TEFL learning over four years in university. Chapters 5-7 have provided more evidence to substantiate specific issues and themes emerging from Chapter 4: Chapter 5 has looked at learners’ definitions and understandings of teacher-learner role relationships to explore insider perspectives (mainly learners’ perspectives in this study) on important educational issues involving the development of autonomy in the Chinese foreign language context; Chapter 6 has ex- amined their views and attitudes towards the university learning envi- ronment to investigate their own interpretations of relevant teaching and learning issues, and the contextual influences on the development of autonomy in the particular social and institutional context; lastly, Chapter 7 is concerned with the issues of autonomy in the transition from foreign language learner to foreign language teacher. Based on the findings reported in these chapters, the present chapter explores three dominant, interrelated themes: contextual, so- cio-psychological influences on the development of autonomy, and learner readiness...
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