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Title: Professional development : experiences of English teachers at Primary level in Thailand
Author: Puangsuk, Oranuch
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 4477
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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This aim of this qualitative research study was to suggest an initiative for promoting professionalism in English language teaching of primary teachers, who work in rural small schools in Thailand. This study was conducted in two phases; Phase I and Phase II. By adopting convenience or opportunity sampling, ten primary teachers in one educational service area office volunteered to take part in this study. Grounded theory (Corbin & Strauss, 1998; Newby, 2010) was adopted for data analysis. In Phase I, data were collected from semi-structured interviews and from supplementary data sources (i.e. research journals and classroom observations). The results suggested that (1) teachers’ inadequate knowledge of English, (2) their difficulty in using the English textbooks available, (3) a problem with materials and equipment, (4) students’ knowledge of English, (5) teachers’ heavy workloads, and (6) the impact of national examinations on regular classroom learning were factors contributing to their difficulty in teaching. Moreover, the results suggested that INSET programmes failed to promote their professionalism in English language teaching, and the teachers’ comments on those programmes also provided valuable implications for the design of the professional development programme in Phase II.Exploratory Practice (EP) (Allwright & Lenzuen, 1997) was adopted as a theoretical framework for the proposed programme in Phase II. For qualitative case study research, two cases of teachers in doing EP projects were selected for in-depth investigation. Data were collected from focus group interviews and semi-structured interviews and from supplementary data sources (i.e. research journals, classroom observations, teacher diaries, recorded discussions, and documents). The results suggested that these teachers gained similar benefits from their experience in Exploratory Practice. First, Exploratory Practice helped them to gain a better understanding of their classroom context. Second, it helped them to design more appropriate lesson plans, materials, and activities for teaching their students more effectively. Third, it increased their confidence in their ability to teach. Fourth, it influenced them to increase their confidence in speaking. The teachers also had positive attitudes towards English, and higher motivation to improve themselves and sustain their professional development in English language teaching. The results also suggested that group discussions supported the teachers in preparing their project plans. These findings suggest that Exploratory Practice was useful for promoting the professional development in English language teaching of two primary teachers and it is possible that Exploratory Practice could have benefits similarly for others in this context and similar contexts where teachers work under similarly difficult circumstances.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Samnakngān Khana Kammakān Kānʻudommasưksā (Office of the Higher Education Commission ; Thailand)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB1501 Primary Education