A Study of Secondary School EFL Teachers’ Pedagogical Beliefs and Classroom Practices

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Addis Ababa University


In order to understand the reality of the classroom and improve the teaching process, researching into teachers’ beliefs about their professional activities has been acknowledged in mainstream education in general and in language education in particular (Borg, 2006). This study investigated secondary school EFL teachers’ pedagogical beliefs and classroom practices. It specifically examined the instructional practices the teachers conducted in classrooms and the beliefs they hold about English teaching profession, English teaching and learning, and the contextual factors. The study used questionnaire, classroom observation, interviews of pre and post classroom observation, and lesson plan analysis for data collection. The findings revealed the teachers’ unrealistic interest and competence in their English teaching profession. That is, the teachers seemed to think that they were merely interested in English teaching profession and were competent for conducting classroom instructions effectively though the classroom observation data failed to confirm such professional interest and competence. The result also indicated the teachers’ shallow theoretical and practical conceptions of the communicative language teaching. In other words, the teachers did not seem to have clear ideas about the focus of the instruction, the roles of teachers and students, the nature of teaching materials, the type of classroom organization and management in employing communicative language teaching in their classrooms. Thus, the teachers’ classroom instructions revealed routine pattern of procedures (presentation, monitoring and discussion) that did not seem to reflect their mere pedagogical conception, communicative language teaching. Moreover, the teachers’ considered students’ limited language capacity and interest in learning the language as the major contextual factor affecting the teaching and learning process. Thus, it is recommended that the teachers need to have more theoretical and practical exposure of the English teaching profession and CLT mainly through reflective teaching and action research.



Pedagogical Beliefs