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College English Teacher Development in China

A Mixed-method Study

Jiying Han

This study addresses the professional development of college English teachers in mainland China. It is designed to examine the relationship between teachers’ motivation and their attitudinal elements including teacher engagement and commitment, and teaching approaches. This study adopts a mixed-method design that starts with a quantitative phase in which data were collected and analysed to examine the hypothesised predictive power of teachers’ motivation on their engagement, commitment and teaching approaches. In the second phase, qualitative data acquired via semi-structured interviews and documentary analysis were collected to further interpret, explain and elaborate the quantitative results in greater depth. As language teaching has been an often-researched discipline in the teacher motivation literature, this study prompts one to rethink and reflect on the effectiveness of college English curriculum reform and provides implications for current college English teaching and the development of college English teachers.

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According to Evan’s three-dimentional framework of teacher development, teacher’s motivation-focused attitudinal development prompts and determines teacher behavioural and intellectual development. This study investigated college English teachers’ attitudinal development and its effect on teachers’ behavioural and intellectual development in the context of mainland China. Underpinned by achievement goal orientation theory, it aimed to explore the characteristics and influencing factors of college English teachers’ goal orientations for teaching. It also examined the relationship between teachers’ goal orientations for teaching and other attitudinal elements including teacher engagement and commitment, and considered teachers’ behavioural and intellectual development in terms of their approaches to college English teaching.

This study used an explanatory sequential mixed-method design involving quantitative data collection in the first phase followed by analysis of supplementary in-depth qualitative data to explain the quantitative results. A survey of 597 college English teachers in 30 institutions across Shandong province in mainland China was conducted in the first phase to explore teachers’ perceptions of their goal orientations for teaching, engagement, commitment and approaches to teaching. A variety of statistical methods for computing and analysing the quantitative data were adopted using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 16.0 and Analysis of Moment Structures (AMOS) Version 17.0. To refine and explain the statistical results and explore the participants’ views in depth, a qualitative approach involving interviews and documentary analysis was adopted with 25 cases in the second phase.

This study arrived at the following findings. First, college English...

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