The Challenges Facing English Language Teachers in Turkey

Mohammadreza Valizadeh


This study, which utilized a mixed-methods design, aimed at investigating the challenges facing English language teachers in Turkey. Moreover, the study explored the probable effects of age, years of teaching experience, and teaching sector (i.e. state vs. private) on English language teachers’ perceptions of challenges in terms of school environment, students, community and parents, teachers’ skills, and curriculum. The data were gathered from 153 English as Foreign Language (EFL) teachers in Turkey via a questionnaire, including both open-ended questions and close-ended items on Likert-scale format. Many teachers complained that emotional support from the school principal is not enough, and classes are crowded, too. Those who worked in villages even complained about the problems of school buildings and environments. Half of the respondents believed that parents are unaware of the importance of English language and they do not cooperate with English language teachers. The majority of the teachers maintained that they need many training programs, such as workshops on using specific aids for teaching English language. The majority of the Turkish teachers of English complained that pressure from curriculum demands inhibits creative and innovative language teaching. In addition, they lack enough time and facilities to meet the requirements of the curriculum. Moreover, some teachers complained that the curriculum lacks sufficient attention to Turkish EFL learners' oral communication skills. Teachers’ age, years of teaching experience, and teaching sector did not significantly affect the teachers’ perceptions about the challenges. A set of recommendations is presented in this paper which can contribute to tackling the challenges.


English Language Teachers, Challenges, School Environment, Students, Community and Parents, Teachers’ Skills, Curriculum, Age, Years of Teaching Experience, Teaching Sector

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