Becoming an EFL Teacher in a developing country : a qualitative case study from the Republic of Niger

Ousseini, Hamissou (2016) Becoming an EFL Teacher in a developing country : a qualitative case study from the Republic of Niger. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This research study examined the effectiveness of initial English as a foreign language (EFL) teacher education in a Sub-Saharan African context (Niger). It draws on theoretical perspectives from Stenhouse (1967; 1975), Schön (1987; 1991), Vygotsky (1978) and Freire (2000), who defined effective teaching as a process of sharing experience, posing problems, reflecting-in-action and creating meaningful interaction with and for learners. The study therefore situates effective teacher learning as a process of creating and reconstructing knowledge, taking into account student teachers’ prior knowledge and experience rather than transmitting predefined knowledge to them. With these theoretical perspectives in mind, the research was carried out through a qualitative case study framework. An EFL programme was selected, and classroom observation, semi-structured interviews and documents review were undertaken based on a theoretical sampling process for data gathering. Consequently, three modules were observed over a full semester, and twenty-two participants (eighteen students, one part-time educator, one full-time educator and two other educators wearing the hats of administrators) offered interview data.
Using thematic analysis strategies, the study has revealed the predominance of traditional approaches of English language teacher education (ELTE) within the EFL programme. The latter offers linguistic and cultural knowledge as the key element for becoming an EFL teacher; it does not provide much in terms of professional pedagogical knowledge and skills. This situation is exacerbated by the predominant modes of course delivery and assessment through which memorisation and rote learning are emphasised. Other findings include students’ attitude towards speaking English and reading as a form of resistance to practices established through educational borrowing, which characterises the review process in that context. The examination of certain institutional and contextual factors has also revealed the extent to which large classes, programme policy, shortage of academic staff and academic resources negatively affect teaching, learning and educators’ professional development. These factors can be regarded as colonial legacies and the consequence of underdevelopment characterised by the lack of solid funding schemes for higher education institutions.
Overall findings suggest that the effectiveness of initial EFL teacher preparation within the studied programme is impeded by both pedagogical and institutional factors. Theoretically, findings confirm assumptions relating to the influence of English as an international language and globalisation on educational practices in diverse context. Methodologically, they raise issues pertaining to the need for customisation of research based on beliefs, norms and values of local contexts. To cater for these factors, possible improvements could be secured through a restructure of the ELTE curricula and establishment of an inquiry-based teaching and participatory review framework.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Jackie Webb
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2016 09:29
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2016 09:29


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