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Title: Thai university teachers' beliefs about English language teaching and their awareness of Global Englishes : a study of relationship and impact on teaching practices
Author: Huttayavilaiphan, Rutthaphak
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 1068
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2019
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Teachers' beliefs are an important concept perceived among a variety of fields in the educational system. Particularly to the field of teacher education and behavioural study, this concept is generally linked with teachers' teaching behaviours and practices in classrooms given their influences on each other. This study aims to contribute to previous research on the topic of teachers' beliefs, and its focus is placed on teachers in the field of English language teaching (ELT). In addition, it aims to combine the theory of teachers' beliefs with Global Englishes (GE) because these theories are seen to have a significant impact on teachers' ELT practices. Thus, the research aims include: to discover teachers' beliefs about ELT and factors; to examine teachers' awareness of GE; and to study the relationship among teachers' beliefs, awareness of GE, and teaching practices. And these aims were formalised through two research questions; what are the beliefs about ELT of Thai university teachers? and what is/are the relationship among the teachers' beliefs, awareness of GE, and teaching practices? This study focuses on ten Thai university teachers of English language. The data collection took place over a six month period at a public university in northern Thailand during mid-January to mid-June 2017. This study employed a qualitative research approach for both data collection and analysis. The instruments used to gather data included surveys, interviews, classroom observations, focus groups, and document analysis. Regarding the data analysis procedure, the study selected to employ qualitative content analysis with the help of Nvivo 11 computer software. Furthermore, the data was analysed based on the deductive and inductive approach for qualitative data analysis. The findings of RQ1 suggested three types of teachers' beliefs about ELT. They included beliefs about English language, beliefs about ELT in relation to the NESs' norms, and beliefs about ELT in relation to the GE perspective. Among these beliefs, the beliefs about English language played a role as a core belief influencing other two beliefs which were thus claimed to be peripheral beliefs. Apart from the contents of teachers' beliefs, the findings demonstrated two important types of factors; internal and external factors, which influence the teachers' belief formation and implementation in classrooms. The internal factor found in this study mainly referred to the teachers' beliefs about English language based on its power to affect not only other cognitive constructs (e.g. other beliefs, attitudes, awareness) but also teaching practices of the teachers. With regard to the external factors, they involved the teachers' different experiences with people (e.g. parents and former teachers) and institutional regulations (e.g. policy and curriculum). In answer to RQ2, the findings reflected that the teaching practices based on the GE perspectives were fewer in numbers than the practices based on the NESs' norms. The factors influencing this result consisted of the more number of the participants who held the beliefs related to the NESs' norms and the influence of some contextual factors on the teachers' belief implementation (e.g. students and curriculum). In addition, a more discussion of the teachers' practices both based on the NESs' norms and the GE perspective informed a limited number of participants in this study who had adequate knowledge of GE. And this factor tended to be another factor affecting the unlikely occurrence of the GE-based teaching practices. This is because the results suggested that the unfamiliarity of GE had led the participants to hold misconceptions, negative attitudes, as well as unawareness of GE which were another key for GE-based teaching practice decision. Hence, based on the results of teachers' belief contents, factors influencing beliefs, and teaching practices, the study could categorise the relationship among the beliefs, awareness of GE and teaching practices into two direction; one refers to when the beliefs affect the awareness of GE and teaching practices, and another direction means when the practices played a role to influence the beliefs as well as the awareness of GE. Finally, the results of this study could be concluded in the same way as previous studies that combined the theory of teachers' cognition with the field of GE. That is, the teachers' beliefs are an important construct in the teacher cognitive system playing a vital role in the teachers' teaching practice decision. In addition, based on the results presenting that many teachers held the beliefs conformed to the NESs' norms could lead to negative consequences both for the teachers themselves and students, it seems crucial for current Thai teachers of English to reconsider what to bring to classrooms to teach students, especially in this period when the status and use of English in Thai are different from what stated in the monolingual ELT models.
Supervisor: Baker, William ; Wang, Ying Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available