Novice Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in the Czech Republic and their Drop-Out Intentions

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Abstract

Problems with staffing play a crucial role among factors influencing the quality of English language teaching at Czech primary and lower secondary schools. Since 1990 the shortage of teachers of English as a foreign language has been repeatedly reported by the Czech School Inspectorate. The shortage is largely caused by the reluctance of English language teacher education study programme graduates to accept teaching positions at primary and lower secondary schools. A drop-out syndrome in the early stages of the teachers’ career is another factor that may contribute to the lack of teachers of English. Unfortunately, it has not been researched in the Czech Republic and it has not been systematically monitored by the state. In the research study focusing on novice teacher drop-out, conducted in 2015–2017, we deal with the process of socialisation of novice teachers in schools and with external factors that influence the socialisation and that can be seen as predictors of novice teachers’ decision to stay in their current school or leave either the school or the teaching profession. The current paper presents partial findings related to drop-out intentions of novice teachers of English as a foreign language in comparison with teachers of other subjects. Our findings indicate that drop-out intentions are more frequent in teachers of English as a foreign language than for other teachers and that teachers of English evaluate their cooperation with colleagues and leadership at their schools more critically than other teachers.

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