THE ROLE AND WORK OF ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE PROGRAM DIRECTORS IN ECUADORIAN UNIVERSITIES
Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral - ESPOL (ECUADOR)
This study shows a picture of the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) program directors in an Ecuadorian university context, their professional and education backgrounds, their working environments, the different types of skills they need to be successful, the constraints they have as well as the challenges they face.
This qualitative research study focused on eight Ecuadorian universities (two public and six private) in a major city in this country. The data were collected through questionnaires, interviews, daily task logs, direct observations (job shadowing) and official institutional documents. The results suggest that nearly all universities in Ecuador have EFL programs on their campuses. These programs may be established in language departments or attached to a college of the parent institution. The EFL programs directors in Ecuadorian universities studied share many commonalities. Their work is varied and demanding. Their credentials and qualifications were similar. Most of them have vast TEFL (Teaching English as Foreign Language) experience and some of them received TEFL training abroad. Most of the directors felt well-prepared for the academic side of their positions, but they felt ill-prepared for the administrative areas of their jobs.