Perceptions of effective language teaching in Iran
Arfa Kaboodvand, Mandana
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
I intend to publish two research papers.
This thesis reports a study of a group of Iranian young learners, their parents and language teachers on their perceptions of the characteristics of effective language teachers in public schools. The research methodology adopted was a mixed method and therefore, the first part of the study was conducted through a questionnaire survey of 190 students studying in the 8th grade of public schools in Iran. This was followed by interviews with a sample of these learners, their parents and their teachers. The data emerging from the study demonstrates that the stakeholders involved in this study hold perceptions across a wide range of areas concerning language teacher effectiveness including teachers’ language proficiency, class management and affective factors. There was some general agreement within and among the stakeholders’ views; however, at times the dimensions slightly varied. On the whole, the main concerns were related to teachers’ knowledge and ability to speak English and teachers’ willingness to insert activities beyond the prescribed syllabus in particular activities related to speaking skill, and also additional activities that would prepare the students for their exams. Teachers’ ability to build the right rapport with the students was also very much in demand. An unanticipated finding of this study was the perceived connection between teachers’ appearance and in particular the way they dressed and their effectiveness. Some discrepancies relating to how these should be actually practised in the class do exist. Finally, this thesis goes on to discuss some of the implications of these findings both for English language teaching in Iran and for future research. Although the findings of this study are not conclusive and not prescriptive, they reveal the importance of exploring the views of stakeholders to make language teaching a more pleasant experience for all, which can in turn lead to a more effective teaching and learning.
PhD in Education