Title

Understanding the relationship between a teacher's beliefs and the ESL classroom practice

Date of Award

8-1-1998

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

The teaching of English has undergone many changes over the years depending on what the functions of English have been viewed to be. How an individual teacher approaches the teaching of English depends on the teacher's beliefs about the nature of language and the teaching and learning of it. Teaching approaches have varied from the grammar translation method on one end of the continuum to the communicative approach on the other. I tried to explore the beliefs of one teacher in the ESL classroom. I interviewed the teacher on a number of occasions and I also interviewed the coordinator of the English department as well as the students who were in her class. At the same time I observed a number of her lessons to get an insight into her practice. I was trying to see the relationship between her beliefs and her classroom practice. Through the interviews and the observations, I discovered that it is not always a one to one relationship between belief and practice. There were instances where there was a direct link between belief and practice and there were instances where the link was less obvious. There were also instances where there was simply no link between belief and practice. Teaching in the classroom context is complex, however, to a great extent, the teacher's beliefs do play a vital role in what happens in the classroom and in this sense have a great impact on the learning outcomes of the students. The study has also made some recommendations for the teachers, for the school and for teacher educators.

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