What Makes an Effective TESOL Teacher in the Gulf? An Empirical Exploration of Faculty-Student Perceptions for Context-Specific Teacher Preparation
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Keywords:context-specific teaching, teaching English to Arab students, TESOL teacher preparation, TESOL in the Gulf.
Teacher education continues to remain an area of exploration and further development in contemporary research. One significant question that dominates discussions that focus on teacher development is “what makes them effective for their students?” Research on context-specific teaching informs us that the metaphor “effective teacher” can be best described in light of the characteristics associated with the term in the context where this is being discussed and negotiated. Although the general list of qualities helps understand the dominant attributes of good teachers in the field, they do not always answer whether this makes a teacher successful in a specific context. To fill this gap, and to determine what teacher characteristics are valued the most in the Gulf context, the present study investigated faculty-student beliefs about the qualities of an effective English teacher using a mixed methods research design that utilized a bilingual survey to collect quantitative data from 66 teachers and 527 students, and individual interviews with 10 faculties and 14 students to further unpack the findings. This study reports that a teacher’s ability to employ an efficient teaching methodology and develop a compassionate relationship with their students, regardless of their gender, age, nationality and accent, are the most preferred qualities of an effective English teacher in the Gulf. These findings are helpful for educators, policymakers, teacher trainers, education leaders, and researchers in employing, developing, and designing teacher-training programs in specific contexts
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