Ongoing Research Projects
This study investigates English teachers’ socialization to the school, their behaviour in classrooms and attitudes towards their profession within the first years after graduation. Recent graduates face many difficulties in their professional environments and many of them lose their contacts with their instructors at universities (Farrell, 2012). The new graduates quit their jobs as teachers with a rate of 10% within the first year of recruitment, and with a rate of between 25 and 50 % within the first three years in the field (Öztürk, 2008, p.20). Many students lack motivation towards learning English and have a resistance against learning a foreign language in Turkey where English is not used outside the educational settings (British Council, 2003). This particular situation causes teachers a burden and result in teacher burnout within the first few years of their professional involvement in the field (Güneş & Uysal, 2014). There are few studies on the difficulties and the socialization period of newly appointed teachers with a rather limited sample representation. Therefore, it is essential to determine the difficulties teachers face in the field and investigate ways to facilitate these processes with a comprehensive study on a large scale. Based on the nature of this study, the study could achieve this aim.
The sample consists of English Language teachers who are serving within the first three years of their profession in cities with high rates of governmental teacher placements. To this end, the number of English Language teachers who have been positioned at state schools since 2013 and are within the first three years of working experience, and the regions and cities where these teachers work are determined by analysing the data provided by the Ministry of Education. 16 cities where there are high rates of teacher placement are selected based on the data received from the Ministry of Education. The study will be conducted in five steps: (1) development of the questionnaire and piloting (2) the administration and the evaluation of the questionnaire (3) development of the class observation schemes and the interview questions to be asked to the teachers based on the results of the questionnaire, and piloting, (4) entrance to the field, conducting the observations and the semi-structured interviews and (5) the analysis of the elicited data and writing up the report.
The field work will last for a full academic year, and the teachers will be asked to take regular notes about the challenging situations they face during their lectures in the classroom. 30 English teachers will be contacted from three cities within the sample (İstanbul, Adana, Samsun), and their lessons will be observed at the beginning, the middle, and the end of the semester. The teachers will be interviewed at the end of these observations. Each week, there will be two hours of observation and interviews will take place at the end of the classroom observations. It is aimed in the current study that both qualitative and quantitative data will be used so that they support each other. Upon the statistical analyses of the data, the areas in which the teachers have difficulty during their socialization period will be determined and presented in a corpus so that it will help us gain further understanding about the behaviours, emotions and attitudes of English Language teachers in the school environment by portraying the beginning English Language teachers’ roles in curriculum and language teaching activities in the classroom. The present study will provide some suggestions about pre-service and in-service teacher education programs and thus contribute to the development of educational curricula for these programs.
The classification of issues that arise during the socialization period of teachers can help create a corpus to utilize while developing materials for use in pre-service and in-service education. The results of the present study can provide significant implications for in-service teacher education programs and pre-service education curricula at universities. A course named “Teacher Socialization: Introduction to Teaching” could be included in the curricula of teacher education programs at universities in order to raise pre-service teachers’ awareness and knowledge about possible difficulties they could face in the field and help them implement their teaching skills effectively in classroom through reinforcing their mechanisms to cope with these difficulties. With respect to its structure and purposes, this study could form a bridge between the pre-service and in-service foreign language teacher education programs.
EU-Speak3 is a three year project (2015-2018), focussing on the needs of teachers who work with immigrants with little or no education (LESSLA learners) in their mother tongue. The Project partners from seven universities aim to make a difference in the educational outcomes for immigrants through the development of free international on-line teacher training modules with special reference to bilingualism/multilingualism, vocabulary acquisition, literacy development in a second/third language. Six on-line modules are being designed and developed by the partners in six countries and offered twice from 2016 to 2018, in English and German, Finnish, Spanish and Turkish. The Boğaziçi team has been working with Syrian Refugee children and adults.