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Language Teachers' Attitudes, Beliefs, Professional Knowledge, and Views on Professional Development: An Exploratory Study at a Preschool TEFL Setting

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Abstract

This article reports on an exploratory study of English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers' attitudes, beliefs, and professional knowledge about teaching EFL (TEFL) in a preschool setting in China. The investigation is structured on a two-dimensional grid based on Calderhead's (1996) categorisation of teachers' attitudes and beliefs and Richards's (1996) two-dimensional division of EFL teachers' professional knowledge. It aims to explore relationships between teachers' attitudes and beliefs and their professional knowledge as well as their connections to views on a TEFL professional development program. The study shows that EFL teachers demonstrate an eminent form-focused inclination in their beliefs and professional knowledge, which is translated into a strong desire for new teaching methods to be introduced in a professional development program. The article concludes with a brief account of the study's implications for the design of a TEFL professional development program.

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