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An exploratory study of teachers' beliefs, assumptions, and knowledge about innovations pertaining teaching English as a foreign language: a comparative case study

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2005
Hatipoğlu, Suzan
The purpose of this comparative case study was to explore English language teachers̕ beliefs, assumptions and knowledge about learner-centeredness and the European Language Portfolio (ELP) and to see how they implement their understanding of learner-centeredness in their classrooms. The study was conducted at one public and one private primary school in Istanbul. Focus group interviews were held in each school with thirteen teachers of English and then individual interviews and observations were carried out with four volunteer teachers during the spring semester, 2004-2005. The four participant teachers were observed in their classrooms ten times along with before- and after-class observation reflections facilitated by the researcher. A follow up interview was conducted with each teacher at the end of the observations. In addition, these observations were accompanied by document analysis. Data from the interviews and before- and after-class reflections were inductively analyzed. For the analysis of observation data and documents, a learner-centered data analysis model was constructed by the researcher. The results of the data indicated that there were differences between public school teachers and private school teachers in the way they defined and implemented learner-centeredness. Lack of knowledge about the ELP was observed in both public and private school teachers. Results revealed that there is a need for in-service training programs that will cater for the needs of public school teachers if the aim is to implement learner-centeredness in schools.