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  • Author: Mehdi Sarkhosh x
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An Exploration of Teaching Practices of Private, Public, and Public-Private EFL Teachers in Iran

Abstract

This study investigates the practices of public (high) school, private language institute, and public-private teachers. In particular, it aims at addressing the role of contextual factors, the variations teachers introduce to cope with them, and the degree of sustainable behaviour among these three groups of teachers. High school teachers consisted of those who taught only in high schools and the ones teaching both in high schools and private language institutes. For this purpose, classroom practices of 60 EFL teachers (N=20 per group) with 3 to 6 years of teaching experience and BA degree in TEF) were compared in terms of group/pair work, teacher talking time, L1 use, questioning, corrective feedback, and coverage of language skills. The findings of the study indicate that a significant difference exists among these three groups of teachers in terms of their practices. It is noteworthy that in the same teaching context of high school, the practices of teachers with and without private language teaching experience are significantly dissimilar except in the duration of pair/group work activities and the rates of repetition and explicit correction. This study suggests that high school EFL teachers with teaching experience in private language institutes subscribe more closely to the tenets of communicative language teaching and thus can act as powerful agents of sustainable language teaching in Iranian public schools.

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Towards a Sustainable Curriculum for ESAP Teacher Training Program: A Profile of ESAP Content Specialists’ vs. Language Instructors’ Needs

Abstract

The first and most crucial step towards developing a sustainable curriculum for instructors teaching English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP) is a needs analysis. Therefore, the main aim of conducting this study was to investigate the in-service needs of language instructors and content specialists teaching ESAP and to spot the differences between the needs of these two groups in order to provide them with systematic treatments in ESAP teacher training programs. This mixed method study was designed on a qualitative-quantitative survey basis using a questionnaire, a semi-structured interview, and an observation checklist. The analysis of the data collected from 50 content specialists and 50 language instructors completing the questionnaires reveals that there is a significant difference between the in-service needs of these two groups, that is, language instructors desire more to be trained in an in-service ESAP teaching training program in terms of professional, procedural and personal needs. Furthermore, the results of the data obtained from the semi-structured interview and the observation of 20 of the above-mentioned instructors (i.e., 10 content specialists and 10 language instructors) indicate that language instructors have more difficulty selecting suitable materials, suffer more from low income, attitudinal difficulties and backwash effect compared to their counterparts teaching ESAP courses. It can be inferred that the results of the present study can sufficiently help the researchers to embark on an in-service teacher training program both for ESAP content specialists and language instructors based on their specific needs in the ESAP context.

Open access