The Qualities of Effective EFL teachers in Elementary Governmental Schools from the Perspective of EFL Elementary Teachers (Published)
This study was designed to investigate the perception of elementary teachers of English in elementary schools of Kuwait regarding the qualities of effective EFL teachers. The participants were 487 female English teachers. A 50-item adopted questionnaire was administered to these teachers asking them about qualities a good EFL teacher should possess according to three dimensions: knowledge, teaching, and personal characteristics. Results indicated that in the knowledge dimension, being familiar with the English language culture and English language proficiency are the first two qualities for effective EFL teachers; however, conducting action research was the last ranking quality. In the teaching dimension, the teacher participants believed that knowing how to evaluate pupils is the first ranking quality of teaching, followed by being aware of current teaching techniques and selecting appropriate supplementary materials. As for personal characteristics, the participants gave the first three ranks of personal characteristics to being confident, self-controlled, followed by being enthusiastic.
Measuring the Self-Efficacy of EFL Teachers in Elementary Governmental Schools in Kuwait: Exploring Years of Teaching Experience (Published)
Teachers’ self-efficacy has been identified as an important concept that not only influences the way in which teachers teach, but also students’ learning outcomes. A review of the current literature shows that EFL teachers’ self-efficacy is influenced by many factors, including teaching strategies, professional development training, active mastery experience, teachers’ practical knowledge and language proficiency, as well as the length of teaching experience. The last factor is relevant to the current study. There have been inconclusive findings regarding the effect of years of teaching; while some studies have reported a positive relationship between years of teaching experience and self-efficacy, other studies have reported the opposite. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the effect of this factor on EFL teachers’ self-efficacy in terms of classroom management, students’ engagement and instructional strategies. The study was conducted with 200 EFL female teachers in governmental elementary schools in Kuwait. Data were collected through online surveys and quantitatively analysed using SPSS. The findings suggest that there were no statistically significant differences (at 0.05 level) between the means in the study sample in terms of self-efficacy in student engagement, classroom management and instructional strategies in relation to the years of teaching experience variable. Based on these findings, it is argued that teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs may remain stable once they are formed. Therefore, there is a need for teacher training courses that raise teachers’ awareness of the importance of their self-efficacy.
Impediments to Integrating Language Skills in Young Learners’ EFL Classes: Whys and a Way Out via Mini-Sagas (Published)
It is deeply believed that integrating language skills in English as a foreign language classes can contribute a great deal to the success of the teaching-learning process. But, such a pedagogical strategy at times poses a daunting challenge for a high percentage of non-native teachers, namely those teaching primary school sixth graders. In this setting, relying on a questionnaire that was administered to twenty primary school teachers teaching English to grade-six pupils, this paper aims at laying emphasis on exploring the reasons behind the difficulties those teachers encounter in integrating the four language skills in English as a foreign language classes. The results of the questionnaire have shown that there are a number of objective reasons that lie at the root of the issue, in particular the absence of training sessions, the nature of the syllabus, and the fact that English seems to be viewed and taught merely as a school subject of secondary importance. The paper, therefore, puts forward how those teachers can defy the impediments to using the integrated approach to teaching the language. Pedagogically speaking, it gives an insight into how teachers can get round the issue theoretically through mini-sagas and via a practical example lesson including explanatory notes. The study has revealed that sensitizing those teachers to the benefits of the integrative approach to teaching English, and using mini-sagas effectually as a starting point for the use of such an approach can help them get familiar with it through other diverse pedagogical procedures according to the learning activities intended to be performed and the learning objectives planned to be achieved, which can contribute to the success of the teaching-learning process.