Publication details [#62968]

Hamid, M. Obaidul and T.T. Huyen Phan. 2017. Learner autonomy in foreign language policies in Vietnamese universities: an exploration of teacher agency from a sociocultural perspective. Current Issues in Language Planning 18 (1) : 39–56.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher


Learner autonomy (LA) is commonly accepted as an important aim, either explicit or implicit, in language education policies across polities. Promoting LA in educational settings mainly depends on the role of teachers in enacting macro-level policies at the micro level. While diverse top-down and bottom-up frameworks for language policy implementation have been presented, little attention has been given to the relationships between the macro and the micro contexts in relation to the policy and practice of LA. This article, which is part of a larger project, explores these relationships to debate their implications for promoting LA in the Vietnamese higher education context. It draws on data from interviews and classroom observations with university English teachers who are conceived as policy actors at the micro level. The findings propose that while the translation of macro LA policies to the micro level can be seen as being characterised by “policy dumping”, LA development in the English language classroom is also reflective of micro-level actors’ exercise of agency. This agency is motivated by teachers’ sense of responsibility towards their students and their academic wellbeing. It is claimed that the voices of these policy actors should be granted more reception and credibility in negotiating LA in macro–micro policy processes.