Anadolu University (TURKEY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Page: 2368 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The underlying reasons of language teachers’ actions towards language teaching in their working environment have become a major interest. In order to understand these actions, it is important to look at the beliefs teachers hold about language teaching and learning that underlie their actions. According to Pajares (1999), beliefs of the teacher influence the way that they teach, the roles they assign to themselves and students, the way they perceive learning / teaching and their attitudes towards their students. In this study Anadolu University School of Foreign Languages follows a skills-based curriculum. In an attempt to facilitate the program review process at this institute, this paper focuses on identifying the beliefs of EFL teachers about teaching and whether they favor a skills-based approach, rule-based approach, or function-based approach. Therefore the research questions are composed as follows; What are the beliefs of English language instructors about EFL teaching and approaches towards EFL teaching? What is the relationship between the beliefs of the experienced and those of the novice teachers about EFL teaching and approaches towards EFL teaching? What is the relationship between the beliefs of the teachers and their University degrees completed / continuing about EFL teaching and approaches towards EFL teaching? For the data collection a random sample of 15 experienced and 15 novice English language instructors teaching at the English preparatory program at Anadolu University participated in the study. The participants ranged from 1 to 25 years of teaching experience. They were assigned, the ‘Teachers’ Beliefs Inventory- Approaches to ESL Instruction’ by K. Johnson (1992) which focuses only on identifying whether the participants have a tendency towards a skills-based approach, a rule-based approach or a function-based approach towards EFL instruction. The analysis of the results shows that the participants generally favor function-based or skills-based approaches to teaching English. The findings also reveal that, teaching experience or the education level has no significant effect on the responses of the participants. The results show that almost all participants of the study see language as a “meaningful communication and is learned sub-consciously in both academic and non-academic settings”. Similarly, the majority of the participants believe that it is more appropriate to avoid students’ oral errors, as long as they can understand what the students are trying to say. Nonetheless, a few of the participants necessitate the correction of errors, followed by a short section explaining why and how they made the mistake. Interestingly, none of the participants sees language as a set of rules that can be learned consciously by the language learner, expect one.