An Impact Evaluation of a Masters TEFL Program in Thailand
The Master of Arts program in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (MATEFL) has been operating since 1998. To date, it has produced approximately 300 graduates expected to fill various English teaching positions in Thailand at all levels. Up till the time that this research began, the MATEFL program had never been formally evaluated. Therefore, there was practically no information regarding the effectiveness of the program. The introduction of educational reform and increased quality assurance in Thailand raised concerns about the quality of educational programs and acted as an impetus to program evaluation.
This evaluation examined the impact of the MATEFL program on the graduates from the first three years of the program. The research design included a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods: document reviews, surveys, and semi-structured interviews. The program documents and the quality assurance documents were examined. Survey questionnaires were administered to the program stakeholders: (1) the graduates; (2) the students who started but did not complete the program; (3) the staff; and (4) the graduates’ employers. The interviews were conducted with purposefully selected participants from the first three groups of stakeholders. Data analysis methods included descriptive statistics and content analysis.
The evaluation findings indicated that the program had a positive impact on the program graduates in preparing them to be English teachers. In addition, the program achieved its goal in developing the quality and standards of English teachers to meet workplace requirements. The evaluation offers recommendations for improvement of the program in six areas: professional development, teaching and learning process, teacher education, evaluation utilization, program management, and organization change. The evaluation also offers recommendations for the improvement of the program evaluation process, as well as for future research.
Keywords: Impact Evaluation, Program Evaluation, TEFL, Teacher Education, Quality Assurance
Dr. Kittitouch Soontornwipast
Director, Master of Arts Program in Teaching English as a Foreign Language