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Title: The challenges faced by teachers of English as a foreign language to young learners in international contexts and their training and development needs and opportunities
Author: Brining, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 5921 3879
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2015
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The growth in teaching English as a foreign language to young learners (TEYL) as a distinctive area within the English Language Teaching industry during the last twenty years raises some questions over who, in an industry that has traditionally focused on adults, is going to teach these learners, aged, in this thesis, between five and sixteen years. Emerging from existing literature and the occupational experience of this researcher is a sense that teaching young learners (YLs) presents different challenges and requires different skills from teaching adults. This research explored the experiences and needs of those who trained to teach adults but also teach children. Adopting a phenomenological, constructivist approach, a mixed-methods survey of multiple-item self-report questionnaires and semi-structured, face-to-face interviews was conducted to investigate the experiences and attitudes of two criteria-based samples totalling 155 mixed-nationality EFL teachers giving out-of-school lessons in private language centres in some forty different countries. The samples included both native and non-native English speakers to reflect the possibility that some language centres might employ such a mixed staff. Following an extensive pilot, the questionnaire was used to identify general demographic trends in TEYL, to explore teachers’ experiences and attitudes towards TEYL, their attitudes towards training and continuing occupational development and their career pathway preferences. 139 questionnaires were returned, and supplemented by 16 interviews. The survey found that around 85 per cent of the respondents had not undertaken any formal pre-service TEYL training and that nearly half had received no such training in their first job. These teachers found aspects of TEYL such as planning and classroom management particularly challenging. On the basis of these findings, the thesis argues that current training and development programmes should be modified and, using suggestions from the research sample, outlines some proposals for a new TEYL training programme.
Supervisor: Hardman, Jan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available