International Association of Educators   |  ISSN: 1308-951X

Original article | International Journal of Research in Teacher Education 2017, Vol. 8(1) 1-31

EFL Teachers’ Professional Development Efforts: A view from Turkey

Mert Topkaraoğlu

pp. 1 - 31   |  Manu. Number: ijrte.2017.001

Published online: October 28, 2017  |   Number of Views: 363  |  Number of Download: 765


Although professional development is assumed to be of value and considered as an essential component of quality teaching, there has been little research on how and why teachers engage themselves in continuous learning and whether professional development affects teaching or student learning. In tandem with this, despite the ongoing pursuit to expand the knowledge and skills of EFL teachers in Turkey and regardless of the innovative language policy reforms that have been put into practice in the country, the learners are yet to achieve the desirable language proficiency levels. Though increasingly more research has been in progress for examining the effectiveness of the professional development activities, they usually tend to disregard the primary needs of teachers. With respect to this issue, the present study aimed to investigate how EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers in Turkey perceive professional development and which factors facilitate/hinder their professional development efforts. For this purpose, the researcher explored the professional development efforts of three in-service Turkish EFL teachers throughout their career by means of semi-structured interviews. Follow-up observation notes, analytic memos and graphic elicitations were also utilized to supplement the results and to detect the perspectives of in-service teachers about professional development in terms of conditions in their lives and institutions. Qualitative data indicated that EFL teachers in Turkey appreciate the importance of professional development and they are willing to improve themselves. However, only to the extent that they are encouraged and fostered by institutional support, could they most likely be genuinely motivated to reflect upon their own practices, share their experiences and problems with colleagues and move forward in their professional lives.

Keywords: Professional development, English as a foreign language, quality teaching, teacher growth.

How to Cite this Article?

APA 6th edition
Topkaraoglu, M. (2017). EFL Teachers’ Professional Development Efforts: A view from Turkey. International Journal of Research in Teacher Education, 8(1), 1-31.

Topkaraoglu, M. (2017). EFL Teachers’ Professional Development Efforts: A view from Turkey. International Journal of Research in Teacher Education, 8(1), pp. 1-31.

Chicago 16th edition
Topkaraoglu, Mert (2017). "EFL Teachers’ Professional Development Efforts: A view from Turkey". International Journal of Research in Teacher Education 8 (1):1-31.

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