Teachers’ Perceptions of Promoting Student-Centred Learning Environment: An Exploratory Study of Teachers’ Behaviours in the Saudi EFL Context
Background. Although the constructivist and humanistic theories advocate for a more student-centred learning approach, the contemporary practice of English teachers is more oriented towards the behavioural approach in the Saudi EFL context.
Purpose. This study aimed to explore teachers’ perceptions of promoting student-centred learning in the Saudi EFL context. It initially amplifies elements of effective student-centred EFL teaching and merges the elements with teachers’ behaviours, resulting in four measurable categories: assessment strategy, communicative approach to learning, teachers’ qualifications, and group activities in teaching EFL.
Methods. Following the quantitative approach, a questionnaire on teachers’ observable behaviours, comprising 47 items and categorised under four constructs, with a three-point Likert scale, was carried out on a group of 302 English teachers. The instrument was devised through an online survey. To analyse data, descriptive and inferential statistical analysis was used. Exploratory factor analysis was performed to validate the study’s instrument.
Results. The interpretation of data primarily showed teachers’ self-reported practices were more oriented toward a teacher-centred approach, specifically in teaching grammar. Other findings showed teachers’ positive attitude towards student-centred learning in lesson preparation, using ICT to prepare interactive teaching materials and giving constructive feedback. Teachers had a mediocre attitude towards their professional qualifications, indicating that the teachers might need more effective English language training workshops based on their needs. Additional data also proved that there was no significant difference in teachers’ perception in terms of their gender, location and status of the school, and classroom size.
Implications. This study provides an overview of the teachers’ position on integrating student-centred learning in their English classroom and thus accentuates the need for potential opportunities for the teachers’ professional development and demands less content overload so that the teachers can ample their teaching process appropriately.
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