Characteristics of Effective EFL Instructors: Language Teachers’ Perceptions Versus Learners’ Perceptions

Negar Hajizadeh, Neda Salahshour


Improving the field of foreign language teaching without improving the qualities of the teachers seems impossible. This attempt, at first hand, requires recognizing the qualities of effective EFL teachers. The aim of this study was to find what foreign language instructors perceive to be the most important characteristics of a successful EFL teacher. In addition, the teachers’ perception was compared to that of learners’ to see whether there were discrepancies between the two groups’ perceptions regarding the preferable characteristics of an effective English language instructors or not. A 58-item questionnaire was administered to teachers at a prominent language institute in Iran. This questionnaire was divided into eight sections and addressed issues relating to teachers’ personal qualities, command in English, teaching methods and evaluation methods they used within the class, mastery over teaching, teacher-student relation, class management and finally language skills management. Teachers were asked to specify the importance of each item in the questionnaire using terms like not important at all, somehow important, important and finally very important. Basic statistics were used to convert the qualitative results into quantitative ones for easier comparison. Interestingly however, the study revealed that the students’ perceptions and teachers’ perceptions do not differ in major ways although there are slight discrepancies.



EFL, effective instructors, leaners’ perceptions, instructors’ perceptions

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