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Title: The relationship between EFL teachers' beliefs and practices in reading instruction to advanced learners of English in a Lithuanian university context
Author: Kuzborska, Irena
ISNI:       0000 0004 2680 885X
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2010
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Teachers' beliefs about reading are thought to have a profound influence on their classroom practices. An understanding of this relationship is important for the improvement of teachers' professional preparation and the successful implementation of new curricula (Borg 2003; 2006). However, there is little previous research on this question in the Lithuanian EFL context. To investigate the question, this case study focused on EFL teachers' beliefs and practices in reading instruction to advanced learners of English in a Lithuanian university context. Eight EFL teachers were observed during reading instruction in order to determine whether the teachers carry out instructional practices consistent with their beliefs. In addition, a follow-up video-stimulated recall as major tool to obtain a depth of insight into the teachers' beliefs in practice was also implemented in this study. Moreover, to define the extent to which the teachers approached reading instruction in terms of methodological divisions of skills-based, whole-language based, and metacognitive strategy based approaches toward the teaching of reading, a Beliefs Questionnaire was created. It was administered to 34 teachers in a Lithuanian university teaching EFL classes. A follow-up retrospective interview with the eight teachers was also utilised in the study in order to further probe the teachers' responses to the questionnaire. The questionnaire results were analysed with the help of SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) in order to identify a larger number of teachers' beliefs. Classroom observations and interviews were analysed qualitatively using a case study analysis. The analysis of the data displayed both congruence and incongruence between beliefs and practices. However, there was a higher level of congruence between the practices and the beliefs elicited by video-stimulated recall as well as semi-structured and post-questionnaire interviews than between practices and beliefs expressed in the Beliefs Questionnaire. Besides, the beliefs that were identified as congruent with classroom practices of the majority of the teachers reflected a skills-based approach to reading instruction. This approach emphasises vocabulary, pronunciation and translation; it focuses on the whole class discussion of texts; it explores factual text information; and the materials used for classroom study are short and modified textbook texts. In addition, contextual factors, such as university policy and the lack of English teacher education, appeared to also play a significant role in determining the extent to which the teachers were capable of implementing instructions congruent with their beliefs. The information obtained from this study clarifies the nature of teachers' beliefs in a Lithuanian university context that is largely unexplored and calls for the need to provide a firmer grounding in EFL reading development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available