Professional Development of EFL Teachers through Rotatory Peer Supervision

Open access


Supervision in Iranian private language schools is carried out by one experienced teacher supervisor with too much authority. This paper reports a novel model of supervision, namely rotatory peer-supervision, in which supervision is delegated to English as foreign language (EFL) teachers themselves. In rotatory supervision, experienced teachers take turns observing each other’s classes and those of their less experienced colleagues and providing constructive feedback. In this study, we investigated the possibility of employing teachers as supervisors and analyzed what they focused and what type of supervisory feedback they provided. While observing their peers’ classes on a rotatory basis for 16 sessions, four experienced teachers evaluated their peer’s teaching performance using a researcher-made classroom observation checklist after receiving a sandwich course on providing constructive supervisory feedback. Their evaluative comments were categorized in terms of compliments, criticisms, and suggestions. The findings revealed that the teacher-supervisors offered compliments much more than criticisms and suggestions. Moreover, critical comments were offered using non-accusatory, mitigated, and face-saving language. This study calls for further recognition of rotatory peer supervision as a viable alternative to the practiced models and further research on this under-researched topic.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Alarcão I. (2009). Teacher training and supervision. A new scope. Sisyphus. Journal of Educational Sciences8 119–128.

  • Alarcão I. & Tavares J. (2003). Supervision of pedagogical practice. A development and learning perspective. Coimbra: Editions Almedina.

  • Ali S. (2007). Reflective teacher observation model for in-service teacher trainees. English Teaching Forum45(1) 16–25.

  • Anderson N. A. (1997). Providing feedback to pre-service teachers of reading in field settings. Reading Research and Instruction37(2) 123–136.

  • Anderson N. A. & Radencich M. C. (2001). The value of feedback in an early field experience: Peer teacher and supervisor coaching. Action in Teacher Education23(3) 66–74.

  • Austin J. L. (1962). How to do things with words. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Bailey K. M. (2006). Language teacher supervision: A case-based approach. New York NY: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from

  • Baniabdelrahman A. A. (2004). Roles of cooperating teachers and practicum supervisors and their effect on EFL student-teachers’ teaching skills. Asian EFL Journal6(3) Article 8. Retrieved from

  • Blumberg A. (1980). Supervisors and teachers: A private cold war (2nd ed.). Berkeley: McCutchan Publishing.

  • Bowman R. F. (2001). Practical tools for pre-service teaching observations. Kappa Delta Pi Record37(3) 126–128.

  • Bradley L. J. & Kottler J. A. (2001). Overview of counselor supervision. In L. J. Bradley & N. Ladany (Eds.) Counselor supervision: Principles process and practice (3rd ed. pp. 3–27). Philadelphia: Brunner-Routledge.

  • Chamberlin C. (2000). Nonverbal behaviors and initial impressions of trustworthiness in teacher–supervisor relationships. Communication Education49(4) 352–364.

  • Copland F. (2010). Causes of tension in post-observation feedback in pre-service teacher training: An alternative view. Teaching and Teacher Education26 466–472.

  • Courneya C. Pratt D. D. & Collins J. (2008). Through what perspective do we judge the teaching of peers? Teaching and Teacher Education24(1) 69–79.

  • Cubberley E. P. (1929). Public school administration (3rd ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

  • Cutcliffe J. Butterworth T. & Proctor B. (2001). Fundamental themes in clinical supervision. London Routledge.

  • Daniels A. C. (2009). Oops! 13 management practices that waste time and money (and what to do instead). Atlanta GA: Performance Management Publications.

  • Danielson C. & McGreal T. L. (2000). Teacher evaluation to enhance professional practice. Alexandria. VA US: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

  • Duke D. L. (1987). School leadership and instructional improvement. New York: Random House.

  • Ebmeier H. (2003). How supervision influences teacher efficacy and commitment: An investigation of a path model. Journal of Curriculum and Supervision18 110–141.

  • Ellett C. & Teddlie C. (2003). Teacher evaluation teacher effectiveness and school effectiveness: Perspectives from the USA. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education17 101–128.

  • Feiman-Nemser S. (2001). Helping novices learn to teach: Lessons from an exemplary support teacher. Journal of Teacher Education52 (1) 17–30.

  • Formosinho J. Machado J. & Oliveira-Formosinho J. (2010). Teacher training performance and evaluation. Mangualde: Pedago Publishing Company.

  • Gebhard J. C. (1984). Models of supervision: Choices. TESOL Quarterly18(3) 501–14.

  • Gebhard J. G. (1990). The supervision of second and foreign language teachers. ERIC Digest ERIC Clearinghouse on Language and Linguistics. Washington DC: Center for Applied Linguistics.

  • Gholami J. Sarkhosh M. & Abdi H. (2016). An exploration of teaching practices of private public and public-private EFL teachers in Iran. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability18(1) 16–33.

  • Glenn W. J. (2006). Model versus mentor: Defining the necessary qualities of the effective cooperating teacher. Teacher Education Quarterly33(1) 85–95.

  • Glickman C. D. (Ed.). (1992). Supervision in transition. Alexandria: ASCD.

  • Glickman C. Gordon S. & Ross-Gordon J. (2008). The basic guide to supervision and instructional leadership. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

  • Good J. M. & Weaver A. (2003). Evaluation of pre-service teachers’ internships: A model to encourage career continuity and program reform. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education17(3) 263–275.

  • Hart M. C. (1929). Supervision from the standpoint of the supervised. The School Review37(7) 537–540.

  • Hayes H. S. & Wetherill K. S. (1996). A new vision for schools supervision and teacher education: The professional development system and model clinical teaching project. paper presented to American educational research association special interest group. Instructional Supervision 1996 Annual Meeting. April 8–12 1996 New York City. Retrieved from

  • Hooton N. K. (2008). The design of post-observation feedback and its impact on student teachers. In Garton S. & Richards K. (Eds.) Professional encounters in TESOL: Discourses of teachers in teaching (24–41). Houndmills: Palgrave MacMillan.

  • Iannuzzi S. (2013). First friends american edition. Oxford University Press.

  • Izadi A. (2016). Over-politeness in Persian professional interactions. Journal of Pragmatics102 13–23.

  • Jay J. K. & Johnson K. L. (2002). Capturing complexity: A typology of reflective practice for teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education18 73–85. Johannsen K. Milner M. & Tarver Chase R. (2010). World English. Heinle Cengage Samrand Amini and Javad Gholami Learning.

  • Jones L. B. (1995). Jesus CEO: Using ancient wisdom for visionary leadership. New York NY: Hyperion.

  • Kayaoglu M. N. (2012). Dictating or facilitating: The supervisory process for language teachers. Australian Journal of Teacher Education37(10) 103–117.

  • Khalili R. (2016). Constructive feedback in teacher education: supervisory feedback strategies and EFL teachersperceptions. Unpublished MA Thesis. Islamic Azad University Urmia Branch.

  • Lam S. F. (2001). Educators’ opinions on classroom observation as a practice of staff development and appraisal. Teaching and Teacher Education17 161–173.

  • Leech G. (1997). Principles of pragmatics. London: Longman.

  • Leeper R. R. (Ed.). (1969). Supervision: Emerging profession. Washington D. C.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development NEA.

  • McGlinn J. C. (2003). The impact of experiential learning on student teachers. Clearing House76 143–47.

  • Murdoch G. (2000). Introducing a teacher supportive evaluation system. ELT Journal54(1) 54–64.

  • Nolan J. & Hoover L. (2005). Teacher supervision and evaluation: Theory into practice. New York: Wiley.

  • Oprandy R. (1999). Exploring with a supervisor. In Gebhard J. G. & Oprandy R. (Eds.) Language teaching awareness: A guide to exploring beliefs and practices (99–121). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Ovando M. N. (2001). Teachers’ perceptions of a learner-centered teacher evaluation system. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education15(3) 213–231.

  • Pajak E. (1993). Approaches to clinical supervising alternatives for improving instruction. Norwood MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers Inc.

  • Pawlas G. & Oliva P. (2007). Supervision for today’s schools (8th ed.). Indianapolis: Wiley & Jossey-Bass Education.

  • Payne W. H. (1875). Chapters on school supervision. New York: Van Antwerp Bragg.

  • Peterson K. D. (2000). Teacher evaluation: A comprehensive guide to new directions and practices (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks CA: Corwin.

  • Richards J. C. (2002). 30 years of TEFL/TESL: A personal reflection. RELC Journal33(2) 1–35.

  • Roberts J. (1998). Language teacher education. London: Arnold.

  • Russell T. L. (1979). What does practice teaching teach? Education Canada19(1) 5–11.

  • Ryan S. (2004). Vital practice. Portland UK: Sea Change Publications.

  • Schön D. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books.

  • Schön D. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner: Toward a new design for teaching and learning in the professions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

  • Searle J. R. (1969). Speech acts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Sergiovanni T. J. & Starratt R. J. (1993). Supervision: A redefinition. Toronto: McGraw Hill.

  • Simmons N. Thompson T. & Quintana J. (2010). American family and friends. Oxford University Press.

  • Spears H. (1953). Improving the supervision of instruction. New York: Prentice-Hall.

  • Stoller F. L. (1996). Teacher supervision: Moving towards an interactive approach. English Teaching Forum34(2) 2–9.

  • Stronge J. (1997). Evaluating teaching: A guide to current thinking and best practice. Thousand Oaks CA: Corwin.

  • Sullivan S. & Glanz J. (2000). Supervision that improves teaching: Strategies and techniques. Thousand Oaks CA: Corwin Press Inc.

  • Teddlie C. Stringfield S. & Burdett J. (2003). International comparisons of the relationships among educational effectiveness evaluation and improvement variables: An overview. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education17(1) 5–20.

  • Telem M. (1998). School administration computerization impact on the teacher’s role: A case study. Urban Education33(4) 534–555.

  • Thies-Sprinthall L. (1984). Promoting the developmental growth of supervising teachers: Theory research programs and implications. Journal of Teacher Education 35(3) 53–60.

  • Ussher B. & Carss W. (2014). Strengthening practicum conversations: Enhancing professional learning and development through returning lecturer supervisions. Australian Journal of Education58(3) 248–261.

  • Vásquez C. (2004). ‘Very carefully managed’: Advice and suggestions in post-observation meetings. Linguistics and Education15(1–2) 33–58.

  • Vásquez C. & Reppen R. (2007). Transforming practice: Changing patterns of participation in post-observation meetings. Language Awareness16 (3) 153–72.

  • Von Bergen C. W. Bressler M. S. & Campbell K. (2014). The sandwich feedback method: Not very tasty. Journal of Behavioral Studies in Business7 1–13.

  • Wajnryb R. (1994). Pragmatics and supervisory discourse: Matching method and purpose. Prospect: An Australian Journal of TESOL9(1) 29–38.

  • Wajnryb R. (1995). Teachers’ perceptions of mitigation in supervisory discourse: A report of a pilot study. South Pacific Journal of Teacher Education23(1) 71–82.

  • Wajnryb R. (1998). Telling it like it isn’t – Exploring an instance of pragmatic ambivalence in supervisory discourse. Journal of Pragmatics29(5) 531–544.

  • Wallace M. J. (1991). Training foreign language teachers: A reflective approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Wallace M. J. & Woolger D. (1991). Improving the ELT supervisory dialogue: The Sri Lankan experience. ELT Journal45(4) 320–327.

  • Wiles K. (1967). Supervision for better schools (final ed.). Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall.

  • Wilkins-Canter E. A. (1997). The nature and effectiveness of feedback given by cooperating teachers to student teachers. Teacher Educator32 235–50.

  • Wragg E. C. (1999). An introduction to classroom observation. London: Routledge.

Journal information
Impact Factor

CiteScore 2018: 1.65

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.255
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.496

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 169 169 5
PDF Downloads 125 125 3