Exploring Libyan English as Foreign Language University Teachers’ (LEFLUTs) professional development (PD) needs: supporting LEFLUTs through the provision of CPD material

Omar, Salah O.I. (2019) Exploring Libyan English as Foreign Language University Teachers’ (LEFLUTs) professional development (PD) needs: supporting LEFLUTs through the provision of CPD material. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3348746

Abstract

This study aimed to develop Continuing Professional Development (CPD) material for Libyan English as Foreign Language University Teachers (LEFLUTs). This interpretivist study outlines an interactive research process using the qualitative research instruments of scenarios, focus groups and field notes.
The LEFLUTs start their teaching profession after successful completion of Masters or PhD degrees and so possess good content knowledge. However, they do not usually have as much general pedagogical knowledge as content knowledge and the only opportunity for them to develop this knowledge is through unstructured individual approaches. I argue here that this lack of appropriate CPD activities hinders the LEFLUTs’ professional learning and affects their teaching practice.
I explored literature on CPD models to identify the key and effective features of CPD and I follow the view that CPD is more effective and more successful when it is based on a model that is collaborative, reflective and sustainable and involves coaching/mentoring. Drawing on this, I designed ten scenarios to explore LEFLUTs’ professional development needs by working with fourteen LEFLUTs. In my study, the LEFLUTs talked about knowledge of teaching methods and approaches, knowledge of learners, knowledge of classroom management and knowledge of curriculum design and adaptation. Moreover, they mentioned collaboration, reflection and sustainability as key features they would appreciate in CPD material which would include coaching and mentoring. In order to clarify and extend some of the information that I learned from the scenarios, I worked in greater depth with four of the LEFLUTs who were studying for PhD degrees here at the University of Glasgow. In this part of the study, I gained more precise and deeper understanding of CPD needs including the group’s knowledge about learners, classroom management, approaches to teaching reading, lesson planning, evaluation and curriculum design and development. This group also talked of collaboration, reflection, sustainability, coaching and observation.
After this, I informally observed a CPD model in action to see whether it provided any further ideas for developing CPD material. I shadowed a CPD programme designed for new university teachers from across the institution. It was not specific to any discipline and it focused on interactive teaching, learning styles and strategies and classroom management. It also involved collaboration, reflection, sustainability, coaching and observation.
Based on the findings from the CPD literature, needs analysis (scenarios and focus group) and fieldnotes from my observation of the CPD for university staff, I found that collaboration, reflection, sustainability and coaching and observation were desirable features of CPD. As a result, I developed CPD material based on the LEFLUTs’ Language Teacher Knowledge Base requirements (classroom management, lesson management, learners’ knowledge, and collaborative learning). Unfortunately, I was not able to return to Libya to trial this material and so I focus on its development in this thesis.
In order to be able to teach this content meaningfully, I used different approaches and activities to embed desirable features of CPD and I report those here. For example, collaboration was achieved through engaging the participants in formal and informal collaboration amongst themselves and with their tutors during every workshop of the CPD material. In addition, reflection was embedded through encouraging the participants to relate the sessions to their own practices and experiences through various reflective approaches such as discussion groups, observations and portfolios. The participants would also be asked to observe each other and reflect on and provide feedback on their practices.
In terms of sustainability, the material was designed to involve the participants in inquiry procedures throughout to encourage them to engage in ongoing questioning and learning through various collaborative and reflective activities including discussion groups, observation and portfolios and hence continuing development. Moreover, the participants would complete a professional development plan (PDP) at the end of the programme in which they outline their plans for future development. Finally, after each session, the participants are to be involved in coaching and observation tasks. The coaching will be conducted by the trainer after each session to monitor the participants’ progress and to support their implementation of new strategies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Continuing professional development, English language teaching/learning, teacher training.
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Hedge, Professor Nicki and MacDiarmid, Dr. Carole
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Mr Salah Omar
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-70973
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 08 May 2019 10:20
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2019 10:44
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/70973

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