An Investigation into Turkish english language teachers’ perceived professional development needs, practices and challenges

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2015
Korkmazgil, Sibel
This phenomenological research study seeks to explore English language teachers’ professional development needs, practices and challenges that they experience in their professional growth. Data were collected from 41 English language teachers working at public schools in 14 different cities in Turkey through semi-structured interviews conducted in 2012. The findings suggested that highest level of needs were indicated with regard to developing teachers’ English language proficiency and speaking skills, improving knowledge and skills in English language teaching methodology, incorporating technology into language teaching, and materials development and adaptation. It was found out that teachers with low levels of perceived English language proficiency seemed to have more of a need for professional development than teachers with a higher level of perceived language proficiency. Despite the wide range of perceived professional development needs, the participants were reluctant to attend in-service trainings offered by Ministry of National Education. The perceived challenges were identified under five categories: teacher-related problems; student-related difficulties; contextual factors; challenges related to the educational system; and the social status of the teaching profession. Furthermore, highly centralized educational system as well as the lack of support, guidance and supervision constitute challenges to teachers’ professional growth. Teachers in this study suffered to a great extent from the lack of autonomy and freedom over their teaching practices, especially their role in pedagogical decision-making processes was concerned. This study suggests that professional development practices that might best contribute to teachers’ professional growth need to be based on their immediate needs, designed and directed with their involvement.

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Citation Formats
S. Korkmazgil, “An Investigation into Turkish english language teachers’ perceived professional development needs, practices and challenges,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2015.