RETHINKING DEVELOPMENT FROM THE TEACHER’S PERSPECTIVE: QUESTIONS ASKED AND ANSWERS PROVIDED IN A SECONDARY SCHOOL EFL TEACHER’S ONLINE COMMUNITY IN CHINA

Y. Lei, Q. Tang, H. Maresova

Palacky University (CZECH REPUBLIC)
With globalization and informatization, ICT has brought opportunities as well as challenges to the traditions of the teaching profession. As a response to both sides of the impact, teacher development is highlighted. We agree that development should be linked to teacher needs, but their needs are first rooted in the problems that they encountered in the schools today (and the future will be seized only if teachers can seize today).

This pilot study tries to investigate the communication in an online teacher’s community, hoping to answer the following questions: what problems the teachers are trying to solve, how the teachers use the community to support their problem solving, what can be done to give the teachers better support, how to understand the teachers’ communication in online communities, and how to conduct this study on a larger scale.

The online community consists of approximately 1,200 EFL teachers from upper secondary schools across China. The one-month chat log from August to September 2017 (at the beginning of the summer semester) is selected for analysis. The process includes description (the number, frequency, rate, and intervals of the question-answer cycles), focus (the topic, response, and reception in the cycles), and extension (the relations with individual and contextual features, the comparisons with existing studies, and the implications for future practices). NVivo is used for coding and content analysis. The results will be compared with the data collected through interview, questionnaire, observation and action research in future studies.