Teachers’ Conceptions of Teaching English: Implications and Applications for EFL Policy and Practice
The study was conducted to explore EFL teachers’ conceptions of teaching English in secondary schools in eastern Hararghe, Ethiopia. Adopting phenomenological research approach, in-depth interview was conducted with nineteen purposively selected teachers from five schools. The analysis followed grounded approach to emerge categories from the data. In the findings, four categories of conceptions of teaching and two higher-order orientations were identified. Transmission of specific knowledge of language elements and exam-preparation are identified as the most predominant categories of conceptions and indicators of good teaching and success. Conversely, the two facilitative orientations to teaching and learning English language were the least reported categories. Hence, teachers’ conceptions of teaching are predominately teacher-centered/exam-focused than student-centered/meaning-making-focused. Unless their conceptions are changed, teachers in the traditional approach are unlikely to adopt active learning methods in English classroom which is against the EFL policy claims. In such context, as part of continuous professional development, constant reflective practices in which teachers reconceptualise and change their conceptions of teaching is a necessity.