Perceptions of EFL teachers from Turkey, Germany and Spain on professional development and their professional development activities
Perceptions of EFL teachers from Turkey, Germany and Spain
In our global world, governments have focused on the professional development of teachers since teachers are seen as key elements of educational settings to increase students’ achievements and the overall quality of education. Thus, EFL teachers are required to equip themselves with up-to-date theoretical and pedagogical knowledge in line with the advancements of the globalized world and students’ increasing needs. Therefore, this qualitative study aims to compare and investigate Turkish, German and Spanish EFL teachers’ perceptions of and activities in professional development. The participants of this study were 45 EFL teachers working at public schools in the capital cities of Turkey, Germany and Spain. The implementation of the study lasted 5 months. The data was collected through structured interviews and analyzed qualitatively. The findings of the study showed that EFL teachers in this study perceived professional development as an ongoing process. Besides, the most frequently mentioned professional development activities were seminars, training courses, conferences and workshops although there was an important difference in regards to the participation of the EFL teachers. That is, conference and workshops were highlighted only by German and Spanish participants. The current study also unveiled that the most common need areas stressed by the participants were integration of technology into class, classroom management and 21st century language teaching approaches. Moreover, the study also showed that difficulty in taking official permission was a major restriction for Turkish participants unlike their colleagues from Germany and Spain. In conclusion, the study suggests that EFL teachers in Turkey should be given autonomy and choice of selection regarding the professional development activities to attend like their colleagues in Germany and Spain, and also the content of the professional development activities should be reanalyzed and reorganized based on the professional needs of EFL teachers.
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