The Relationship between Self-efficacy Beliefs and Autonomy among Iranian Intermediate and Upper Intermediate EFL Learners

Azar Mojoudi, Omind Tabatabaei


This study aimed to investigate the relationship between self-efficacy beliefs and autonomy among Iranian intermediate and upper intermediate EFL learners. To this end, after conducting Oxford Placement Test (OPT), 84 Iranian EFL learners at both intermediate and upper intermediate levels of English language proficiency were selected. Then, a 28-item autonomy questionnaire and a 34-item self-efficacy questionnaire were administrated. In order to understand the relationship between self-efficacy and autonomy among intermediate EFL learners which is the first aim of this study, a quantitative method of data analysis procedure was conducted which falls under the category of correlational research. To do so, Pearson Correlation Coefficient was used. To figure out the same relationship between the mentioned values among upper intermediate EFL learners, the same procedure was followed. The results of the second research question indicated that there is a somehow strong correlation between the mentioned values among upper intermediate EFL learners. In addition, it was found that the mean score of the two variables is rather stronger among upper intermediate learners than the intermediate ones. At last, the findings of this study indicated that there is not a significant difference between the obtained correlation coefficients of intermediate and upper intermediate learners. By being aware of the importance of self-efficacy and autonomy in the area of language learning, and also the positive association between these values, language experts, teachers, and many learners will be guided toward the right direction in their track of teaching and learning.



Autonomy, self-efficacy beliefs, autonomous learners, motivation

Full Text:



Anstrom, K. (2000). High school foreign language students’ perceptions of language learning strategy use and self-efficacy.Washington, D.C. National Foreign Language Resource Center, Georgetown University/Center for Applied Linguistics.

Bandura, A. (1981). Self-referent thought: A developmental analysis of self-efficacy. In J. H. Flavel,& L. Ross Ed.), Social cognitive development: Frontiers and possible futures (pp. 200-230). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Bandura, A. (1997b). Self-efficacy.Harvard Mental Health Letter, 13(9) 4-6.

Bandura, A. (1999). A social cognitive theoryof personality. In L.Pervin & O.John (Eds), Handbook of personality (2nd ed., pp. 154-196). New York: Guilford

Bandura, A. (2001). Guide for constructing self-efficacy scales. Stanford, CA, USA: Stanford University.

Bandura, A. (2002). Social cognitive theory in cultural context. Journal of Applied Psychology: An International Review, 51, 269-290.

Benson, P. (2001). Teaching and researching autonomy in language learning. London: Longman, 47.

Benson, P. (2007). Autonomy in language teaching and learning. State of the Art Article. Language Teaching, 40, 1: 21-40.

Benson, P. & P. Voller (eds.) (1997). Autonomy and independence in language learning. London: Longman.

Cotterall, S. 1999. Key Variables in Language Learning: What do Learners Believe about Them? System, 27 (1), pp. 493-513.

Dafei, D. (2007). An exploration of the relationship between learner autonomy and English proficiency. Asian EFL Journal, 1-23.

Dickinson, L. (1987). Self-instruction in language learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dickinson, L. (1995). Autonomy and motivation: A literature review. System 23.2, 165–174.

Fahim.M. and Behdani.R.(2011). Critical Thinking Ability and Autonomy of Iranian EFL Learners. American Journal of Scientific ResearchISSN 1450- 223X,29(2011),59-72.

Fleming, F. & G. Walls, 1998. What pupils do: The role of strategic planning in modern foreign language learning. Language Learning Journal, 18: 14-21. Templin, S. A. (1999). The Relationship between Self-Efficacy and Language Learners’ Grades .JALT Journal 21(1).112-121.

Gremmo, M-J. & P. Riley (1995). Autonomy, self-direction and self-access in language teaching and learning: The history of an idea. System 23.2, 151–164.

Huang, S. C., &Shanmao, C. F. (1996).Self-efficacy of English as a Second Language Learner: An example of four learners. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 396536.

Klassen, R. M. (2004). Optimism and realism: a review of self-efficacy from a cross-cultural perspective. International Journal of Psychology, 39 (3), 205-230.

Magogwe, J. M., Oliver, R. (2007). The relationship between language learning strategies, proficiency, age and self-efficacy beliefs: A study of language learners in Botswana. System, 35, 338–352.

Mango C., (2009).Investigating the Effect of School Ability on Self-efficacy, Learning Approaches, and Metacognition.The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 18:2, pp. 233-244.

Rahimi, A., &Abedini, A. (2009).The interface between EFL learners’ self-efficacy concerning listening comprehension and listening proficiency.Novitas Royal, 3(1), 14-28.

Schmenk, B. (2005). Globalizing learner autonomy. TESOL Quarterly 39.1, 107–118.

Shrader, S.R., 2003, ‘Learner Empowerment—A Perspective’, The Internet TESL Journal 9(11), November, available at, accessed 13 July 2012.

Templin, S. A., Guile, T. C., & Okuma, T. (2001). Creating a reliable and valid self-efficacy questionnaire and English test to raise learners L2 achievement via raising their self-efficacy.Retrieved April, 2012 from

Thanasoulas, D. (2000). What is learner autonomy and how can it be fostered? The Internet TESL Journal 11. accessed 7/9/2006.

Wenden, A. L (1987). Metacognition: An expanded view on the cognitive abilities of L2 learners. Language Leaming, 37 (4), 573-598.

Wenden, A. (1991). Learner strategies for learner autonomy. New York: Prentice Hall.

White, C. (1999). Expectations and emergent beliefs of self-instructed language learners. System, 27(4), 443-457.

YalcinTilfarlioglu, F. & Seyma Ciftci, F. (2011). Supporting self-efficacy and learner autonomy in relation to academic success in EFL classrooms( a case study). Theory and Practice in Laguage Studies, 1(10), 1284-1294.

Yilmaz, C.(2010). The relationship between language learning strategies, gender, proficiency and self-efficacy beliefs: a study of ELT learners in Turkey. Procedia Social and Behavioral Science, 2, 682-687.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2020 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.