Evaluating an English teacher training course for Iranian institutes' language teachers

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 English Department, Faculty of Humanities, Chabahar Maritime University

2 English Department, University of Isfahan

Abstract

This paper reports on a mixed-methods study that utilized questionnaires, open-ended questions, and texts to evaluate the English teacher training courses held in Iranian private language institutes. Data were gathered from 60 teacher applicants applying for and 94 teacher trainees who took these courses in three private language institutes. Descriptive statistics and content analysis techniques were employed to analyze the data. The findings indicate that while teacher applicants need training most in teaching language skills and components, general teaching skills, and classroom management, they need no training in using classroom resources, language learning and language testing theories. Furthermore, they expected the course to follow a specific syllabus and set of objectives, give them opportunities for teaching practice, observation of experienced teachers' classes, and the confidence and ability to manage classes and organize interesting language learning activities. Finally, it was found that although Iranian teacher training courses enjoy good planning, they suffer from a number of limitations at implementations and evaluation stages. Iranian teacher training course were revealed to focus on received versus experiential knowledge of the trainees, to offer scant opportunity for teaching practice and classroom observation, and little training with regard to classroom management skills.

Keywords