Non-Native English Teachers’ Beliefs on Grammar Instruction

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Research on teacher cognition, which mainly focuses on identifying what teachers think, know and believe, is essential to understanding teachers’ cognitive framework as it relates to the instructional choices they make. The aim of this study is to find out the beliefs of non-native speaker teachers of English on grammar instruction and to explain how those reported beliefs are influenced by particular demographic factors. 75 non-native speaker teachers of English participated in the study. Data was collected by a 5-Likert type questionnaire with 15 items that addressed a range of key issues in grammar instruction, particularly direct (explicit) or indirect (integrated) grammar instruction. The study has provided a number of valuable insights, particularly in relation to teachers’ beliefs about grammar instruction. The representation of grammar instruction that arises from participant teachers’ responses in this study is one characterized by systematic explicit grammar teaching with regular opportunities for grammar practice, not in isolation but in relation to skills-oriented work. Moreover, teachers with higher English proficiency levels and higher degrees (master’s/doctorate) showed stronger belief towards teaching grammar indirectly. Teachers of adult learners showed a higher tendency towards direct grammar teaching. Non-native speaker teachers preferred to use more indirect grammar instruction as they progressed academically and proficiency-wise, but they implemented more direct grammar teaching as the ages and level of their students increased.

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