Teacher Professional Development and Student Learning Experience: An Example from a Taiwanese EFL School Context
This yearlong qualitative study provided evidence regarding English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers' professional development in a Taiwanese elementary school with specific teaching culture, which in turn influenced EFL classroom instruction and students' learning experience in this context. Employing multiple stakeholders and multiple data collection methods, this study depicted that most teachers in this school context perceived little collegial interaction/collaboration, learning opportunities, and parent involvement concerning their instructional practices. Nor did they perceive an explicit teacher evaluation system. Within such a school teaching culture, most EFL teachers were uncertain about their instructional practices and felt perplexed at following the communication-oriented curriculum guidelines promoted by the Taiwanese government. Instead, they tended to focus English teaching on translation and recitation. Seemingly, keeping pace with the tight curriculum schedule was the priority in these EFL teachers' classroom instruction. Learning in this school environment, most participating students expressed their difficulties keeping up with teachers' instructional contents and further showed their limited interest in learning English at school. The findings of this study rendered meanings and lessons for education policy makers to pay more attention to how a school teaching culture would feature in teacher professional development and student learning experience.
Keywords: School Teaching Culture, Teacher Professional Development, EFL Teaching and Learning
Dr. Mei-Hui Liu
Assistant Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, Tunghai University