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ELT Teachers` Professional Learning in Turkey

Butun, Z. (2021) ELT Teachers` Professional Learning in Turkey. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00104555


This research explores the professional learning (PL) of English Language teaching (ELT) teachers working in different contexts in Turkey, specifically how reflection and collaborative activity facilitate ELT teachers` learning and what factors affect ELT teachers` pursuit of PL. This research adopted a qualitative multiple case study design using a triangulation of life history interviews, critical incidents and semi-structured interviews. Life histories provided an overview of the ELT teachers` backgrounds and their careers to date, critical incidents captured specific learning experiences and provided details about those incidents, and semistructured interviews helped to learn more about the teachers` perspectives of PL, their motivations and aspirations. An urban and a rural area were selected for the collection of the data because the available PL opportunities may vary between urban and rural settings, and the data collection tools were piloted before the main study took place. Thirteen ELT teachers formed the sources of the data. The teachers varied with regards to their teaching experience (four to eleven years), their educational background (nine from ELT departments four from English-related departments; and four of them pursued further education after Bachelor`s degree), their responsibilities within their schools and the years they were teaching (public primary, secondary and high schools). A mixture of deductive and inductive analysis was carried out for thirty-nine transcripts (thirteen data sets) and a constant comparative method was used to understand the similarities and differences among the teachers and to modify the emerging codes by making them applicable to all data sets. The findings revealed that the teachers were engaged in both reflective practice and collaborative working; however, the degree of collaboration the teachers were engaged in was lower than their engagement in reflective practice. Whilst certain models of reflective practice and collaborative working helped some of the teachers to achieve sustained change, not many teachers were able to engage in these activities effectively. Several individual and contextual factors influenced the teachers` reflective and collaborative experiences. The teachers differed from each other with regards to their motivation, self-efficacy and beliefs, and the emerging contextual factors were related to the teachers` external, material and situated contexts. Five phrases stood out which encapsulated the teachers` attitudes towards PL, which were guided by the level of their proactivity: “I try no matter what”, “I am trying because”, “I try if”, “I am done with trying” and “I will never try”. By bringing reflective practice and collaborative working together, this research provides insights about the factors affecting each practice and how they feed into each other in relation to teachers` PL. Moreover, it sheds light on the existing problems in the Turkish context, and offers suggestions for teachers, schools, pre-service teacher training programmes and authorities to improve the quality of English teaching and learning outcomes.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Harris, R. and Li, D.
Thesis/Report Department:Institute of Education
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Language and Literacy in Education
ID Code:104555
Date on Title Page:August 2020


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