Teaching English has been one of the subjects deeply affected by the lockdown and physical isolation period caused by COVID-19, and schools around the world had to switch to online instruction at short notice. Students engaged in this distance learning process with different autonomy levels; some adapted to the new learning system easily, while others felt lost and depended solely on what the teachers said. This descriptive study aims to discover the perception of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers on learner autonomy levels of Turkish EFL learners during online instruction throughout the lockdown period; what the biggest barriers that blocked their students’ autonomous study habits were; and what strategies teachers/ instructors followed to enhance the students’ autonomy levels. In order to analyse the data collected through an online questionnaire from 66 teacher participants, a descriptive study design with a mixed method approach was adopted. Correlational analysis was performed on the quantitative data, and qualitative data was open coded with content analysis. Findings showed that Turkish EFL learners were perceived to be autonomous at a rate of 55% by their teachers during the online instruction period, and self-access materials, technology, motivation, and the affective factors played a significant role in the development, degree, and perception of autonomy in online learning.
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