Research Article
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Exploring EFL Teachers’ Decision-Making Skills: Departure from Lesson Plans

Year 2021, Volume 10, Issue 1, 61 - 82, 30.06.2021

Abstract

This qualitative study primarily investigates the major reasons behind the teachers’ decision-making skills when departing from their pre-planned lesson plans. This study also aims to explore to what extent teachers’ beliefs and practices of departure from lesson plans are in line with each other. Data were collected through multiple sources including pre-interviews, observations, and post-interviews. Four tertiary level EFL teachers whose teaching experience was ranging from one to three were interviewed initially for the underlying beliefs related to departure from lesson plans. Then they were observed to examine how they depart from their lesson plans. Finally, they were interviewed again in terms of reflective thinking upon observation findings. The findings of the study indicated that four major categorical reasons influenced the teachers’ deviation from their pre-determined lesson plans. These reasons were mainly related to academic concerns, affective factors, classroom management, and timing. The study also revealed that the teachers’ underlying belief systems had a significant role in shaping what they did in their classes, which was examined individually for each participant. Based on these findings, some possible implications corresponding to curriculum and lesson plan design were discussed within the social constructivist theory and humanistic approach.

References

  • Bailey, K. (1996). The best laid plans: Teachers’ in-class decisions to depart from their lesson plans. In K. Bailey. (Ed.), Voices from the language classroom: Qualitative research from second language education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Borg, S. (2006). Teacher cognition and language education. London: Continuum.
  • Brumfit, C., & Rossner, R. (1992). The “decision pyramid” and teacher training for ELT. ELT Journal, 36(4), 226-231.
  • Carlson, H. L. (2010). From practice to theory: A social constructivist approach to teacher education, Teachers and Teaching, 5(2), 203-218.
  • Crawley, F. E., & Salyer, B. A. (1995). Origins of life science teachers' beliefs underlying curriculum reform in Texas. Science Education, 79(6), 611-635.
  • Dewey, J. (1933). How we think: A restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process. Boston, MA: D.C. Heath & Co Publishers.
  • Dörnyei, Z. (2007). Research methods in applied linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Ellis, R. (1994). The study of second language acquisition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Farrell, T. S., & Lim, P. C. P. (2005). Conceptions of grammar teaching: A case study of teachers’ beliefs and classroom practices. Tesl-Ej, 9(2), 1–13.
  • Freire, P. & Macedo, D. P. (1995). A dialogue: Culture, language, and race. Harvard Educational Review, 65(3), 377-402.
  • Freire, P. (1998). The Paulo Freire reader. New York: Continuum.
  • Glaser, B., & Strauss, A. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago, IL: Aldine.
  • Lent, R. W., Brown, S. D., & Hackett, G. (1994). Toward a unifying social cognitive theory of career and academic interest, choice, and performance. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 45(1), 79-122.
  • Li, H. (2013). Student initiatives and missed learning opportunities in an IRF sequence: A single case analysis. L2 Journal, 5(2), 68-92.
  • Li, Y., Chen, X. & Khum, G. (2009). Mathematics teachers’ practices and thinking in lesson plan development: A case of teaching fraction division. ZDM Mathematics Education, 41(6), 717–731.
  • Nespor, J. (1987). The role of beliefs in the practice teaching. Curriculum Studies, 19(4), 317-328.
  • Ni, H. (2012). The effects of affective factors in SLA and pedagogical implications. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 2(7), 1508-1513.
  • Paoletti, I., & Fele, G. (2004). Order and disorder in the classroom. Pragmatics, 14(1), 69-85.
  • Osam, U. V., & Balbay, S. (2004). Investigating the decision-making skills of cooperating teachers and student teachers of English in a Turkish context. Teaching and Teacher Education, 20(7), 745-758.
  • Palincsar, A. S. (1998). Social constructivist perspectives on teaching and learning. Annual Review of Psychology, 49(1), 345-375.
  • Parkinson, B., Totterdell, P., Briner, R. B. & Reynolds, S. (1996). Changing moods: The psychology of mood and mood regulation. London: Longman.
  • Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative education and research methods (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
  • Phipps, S., & Borg, S. (2009). Exploring tensions between teachers’ grammar teaching beliefs and practices. System, 37(3), 380-390.
  • Randolph, D., Duffy, E., & Mattingly, K. (2007). The 3 P’s of curriculum redesign: Principles, personal qualities and process. Independent School, 66(3), 86-92.
  • Richards, J. C. (1998). Exploring pedagogical reasoning skills. In J. C. Richards (ed.), Beyond Training (pp. 86-102). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Richards, J.C. (1984). Language curriculum development. RELC Journal, 15(1), 1-29.
  • Richardson, V. (1997). Constructivist teaching and teacher education: Theory and practice. Constructivist teacher education: Building a world of new understandings. London: The Falmer Press.
  • Rogers, C. (1995). A way of being. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  • Sahin-Taskin, C. (2017). Exploring pre-service teachers' perceptions of lesson planning in primary education. Journal of Education and Practice, 8(12), 57-63.
  • Saldaña, J. (2014), Coding and analysis strategies. In P. Leavy (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of qualitative research (pp. 581-605). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Saldaña, J., & Omasta, M. (2018). Qualitative research: Analyzing life. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
  • Seidman, I. (2006). Interviewing as qualitative research: A guide for researchers (3rd ed.). New York: Teachers Collage Press.
  • Setyono, B. (2016). Providing variations of learning modalities to scaffold pre-service EFL teachers in designing lesson plan. Proceeding of The International Conference on Teacher Training and Education, 1(1), 336–343.
  • Shawer, S. F. (2010). Classroom-level curriculum development: EFL teachers as curriculum-developers, curriculum-makers and curriculum-transmitters. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(2), 173-184.
  • Silverman, D. (1993). Interpreting qualitative data: methods for analyzing talk, text, and interaction. London: Sage Publications.
  • Smith, D. B. (1996). Teacher decision making in the adult ESL classroom. In D. Freeman & J. C. Richards (Eds.), Teacher learning in language teaching (pp. 197-216). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sougari, A. M. (2011). Student teachers’ decision-making skills in relation to lesson planning: The impact of a practicum. Selected Papers on Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, 19, 403-412.
  • Stake, R. E. (2005). Qualitative case studies. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed.) (pp. 443–466). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Ulichny, P. (1996). What’s in a methodology? In D. Freeman & J. C. Richards (Eds.), Teacher learning in language teaching (pp. 178-96). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Valsiner, J. (1995). Comparative-cultural and constructivist perspectives. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
  • Van der Veer, R. & Valsiner, J. (1991). Understanding Vygotsky: A quest for synthesis. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Vdovina, E. & Gaibisso, L. C. (2013). Developing critical thinking in the English language classroom: A lesson plan. ELTA Journal, 1(1), 54–68.
  • Vygotsky, L. (1962). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Waring, H. Z., Reddington, E., & Tadic, N. (2016). Responding artfully to student-initiated departures in the adult ESL classroom. Linguistics and Education, 33, 28-39.
  • Yin, R. K. (2018). Case study research and applications: Design and method (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Year 2021, Volume 10, Issue 1, 61 - 82, 30.06.2021

Abstract

References

  • Bailey, K. (1996). The best laid plans: Teachers’ in-class decisions to depart from their lesson plans. In K. Bailey. (Ed.), Voices from the language classroom: Qualitative research from second language education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Borg, S. (2006). Teacher cognition and language education. London: Continuum.
  • Brumfit, C., & Rossner, R. (1992). The “decision pyramid” and teacher training for ELT. ELT Journal, 36(4), 226-231.
  • Carlson, H. L. (2010). From practice to theory: A social constructivist approach to teacher education, Teachers and Teaching, 5(2), 203-218.
  • Crawley, F. E., & Salyer, B. A. (1995). Origins of life science teachers' beliefs underlying curriculum reform in Texas. Science Education, 79(6), 611-635.
  • Dewey, J. (1933). How we think: A restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process. Boston, MA: D.C. Heath & Co Publishers.
  • Dörnyei, Z. (2007). Research methods in applied linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Ellis, R. (1994). The study of second language acquisition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Farrell, T. S., & Lim, P. C. P. (2005). Conceptions of grammar teaching: A case study of teachers’ beliefs and classroom practices. Tesl-Ej, 9(2), 1–13.
  • Freire, P. & Macedo, D. P. (1995). A dialogue: Culture, language, and race. Harvard Educational Review, 65(3), 377-402.
  • Freire, P. (1998). The Paulo Freire reader. New York: Continuum.
  • Glaser, B., & Strauss, A. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago, IL: Aldine.
  • Lent, R. W., Brown, S. D., & Hackett, G. (1994). Toward a unifying social cognitive theory of career and academic interest, choice, and performance. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 45(1), 79-122.
  • Li, H. (2013). Student initiatives and missed learning opportunities in an IRF sequence: A single case analysis. L2 Journal, 5(2), 68-92.
  • Li, Y., Chen, X. & Khum, G. (2009). Mathematics teachers’ practices and thinking in lesson plan development: A case of teaching fraction division. ZDM Mathematics Education, 41(6), 717–731.
  • Nespor, J. (1987). The role of beliefs in the practice teaching. Curriculum Studies, 19(4), 317-328.
  • Ni, H. (2012). The effects of affective factors in SLA and pedagogical implications. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 2(7), 1508-1513.
  • Paoletti, I., & Fele, G. (2004). Order and disorder in the classroom. Pragmatics, 14(1), 69-85.
  • Osam, U. V., & Balbay, S. (2004). Investigating the decision-making skills of cooperating teachers and student teachers of English in a Turkish context. Teaching and Teacher Education, 20(7), 745-758.
  • Palincsar, A. S. (1998). Social constructivist perspectives on teaching and learning. Annual Review of Psychology, 49(1), 345-375.
  • Parkinson, B., Totterdell, P., Briner, R. B. & Reynolds, S. (1996). Changing moods: The psychology of mood and mood regulation. London: Longman.
  • Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative education and research methods (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
  • Phipps, S., & Borg, S. (2009). Exploring tensions between teachers’ grammar teaching beliefs and practices. System, 37(3), 380-390.
  • Randolph, D., Duffy, E., & Mattingly, K. (2007). The 3 P’s of curriculum redesign: Principles, personal qualities and process. Independent School, 66(3), 86-92.
  • Richards, J. C. (1998). Exploring pedagogical reasoning skills. In J. C. Richards (ed.), Beyond Training (pp. 86-102). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Richards, J.C. (1984). Language curriculum development. RELC Journal, 15(1), 1-29.
  • Richardson, V. (1997). Constructivist teaching and teacher education: Theory and practice. Constructivist teacher education: Building a world of new understandings. London: The Falmer Press.
  • Rogers, C. (1995). A way of being. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  • Sahin-Taskin, C. (2017). Exploring pre-service teachers' perceptions of lesson planning in primary education. Journal of Education and Practice, 8(12), 57-63.
  • Saldaña, J. (2014), Coding and analysis strategies. In P. Leavy (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of qualitative research (pp. 581-605). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Saldaña, J., & Omasta, M. (2018). Qualitative research: Analyzing life. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
  • Seidman, I. (2006). Interviewing as qualitative research: A guide for researchers (3rd ed.). New York: Teachers Collage Press.
  • Setyono, B. (2016). Providing variations of learning modalities to scaffold pre-service EFL teachers in designing lesson plan. Proceeding of The International Conference on Teacher Training and Education, 1(1), 336–343.
  • Shawer, S. F. (2010). Classroom-level curriculum development: EFL teachers as curriculum-developers, curriculum-makers and curriculum-transmitters. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(2), 173-184.
  • Silverman, D. (1993). Interpreting qualitative data: methods for analyzing talk, text, and interaction. London: Sage Publications.
  • Smith, D. B. (1996). Teacher decision making in the adult ESL classroom. In D. Freeman & J. C. Richards (Eds.), Teacher learning in language teaching (pp. 197-216). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sougari, A. M. (2011). Student teachers’ decision-making skills in relation to lesson planning: The impact of a practicum. Selected Papers on Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, 19, 403-412.
  • Stake, R. E. (2005). Qualitative case studies. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed.) (pp. 443–466). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Ulichny, P. (1996). What’s in a methodology? In D. Freeman & J. C. Richards (Eds.), Teacher learning in language teaching (pp. 178-96). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Valsiner, J. (1995). Comparative-cultural and constructivist perspectives. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
  • Van der Veer, R. & Valsiner, J. (1991). Understanding Vygotsky: A quest for synthesis. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Vdovina, E. & Gaibisso, L. C. (2013). Developing critical thinking in the English language classroom: A lesson plan. ELTA Journal, 1(1), 54–68.
  • Vygotsky, L. (1962). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Waring, H. Z., Reddington, E., & Tadic, N. (2016). Responding artfully to student-initiated departures in the adult ESL classroom. Linguistics and Education, 33, 28-39.
  • Yin, R. K. (2018). Case study research and applications: Design and method (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Details

Primary Language English
Subjects Education, Scientific Disciplines
Journal Section Articles
Authors

Serhat BAŞAR (Primary Author)
İZMİR YÜKSEK TEKNOLOJİ ENSTİTÜSÜ
0000-0001-9716-4308
Türkiye

Publication Date June 30, 2021
Application Date May 27, 2020
Acceptance Date June 16, 2021
Published in Issue Year 2021, Volume 10, Issue 1

Cite

APA Başar, S. (2021). Exploring EFL Teachers’ Decision-Making Skills: Departure from Lesson Plans . ELT Research Journal , 10 (1) , 61-82 . Retrieved from https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/eltrj/issue/63041/742374