Facilitating the Transitioning of an EFL Teacher from Teaching Older Learners to Teaching Younger Children Through Mentoring
Keywords:Collaborative action research (CAR), English as a foreign language (EFL) teacher, mentoring, professional development, reflective writing, teaching adult learners, teaching English to young learners, transitioning
This paper reports the professional journey of an English as a foreign language (EFL) teacher from teaching older learners to teaching younger children at a primary school, and the impact of mentoring on the teacher in facilitating the transitioning process. The participant is a Turkish native-speaker male English teacher with 23 years of teaching experience. He participated in the mentoring program, which was organized as a collaborative action research teacher development project, and implemented by the author of the present study. During this process, the participant completed three cycles of action research. For each cycle, he identified a problem and/or any aspect of teaching he wished to improve, designed an action plan, applied it in his Grade 2 English classes, reflected upon his action, and documented his action research. He was also interviewed to gain additional insight into his experiences. Qualitative inductive analysis was used to analyse the interviews and reflective writings. The findings suggest that the mentoring process led to an increase in the teacher’s self-efficacy in young learner pedagogy and teaching performance, helped him socialize into the community of young learner teachers, and gain teacher-researcher identity, which is perceived to smooth his transition into teaching a younger age.
ARP (Onat, S.) (2020) ‘Öğrenmenin Gerçekten Yaşı Yok, Sonu Da Yok!’[There is no end to learning] in Kırkgöz, Y. and Yaşar, M. (eds.) Araştırmacı Öğretmen: Daha İyiye Yolculuk, [Teacher as a Researcher: Journey for the Better], (pp. 91–97), Ankara: Akademisyen Publisher.
Atay, D. (2008) ‘Teacher research for Professional development’, ELT Journal, Vol. 62, No. 2, pp. 139–47. https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccl053
Bandura, A. (1986) Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory, New York: Prentice-Hall.
Bandura, A. (1997) Self-efficacy: The exercise of control, New York: W. H. Freeman.
Burns, A. (2009) ‘Action research in second language teacher education’, in Burns, A. and Richards, J. C. (eds.) Cambridge guide to second language teacher education, (pp. 289–297), New York: Cambridge University Press.
Burns, A. (2010) Doing action research in English language teaching. A guide for practitioners, New York: Routledge.
Creswell, J. W. (2013) Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches, 3rd edition, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Day, C. and Hadfield, M. (2004) ‘Learning through networks: trust, partnerships and the power of action research’, Educational Action Research, Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 575–586. https://doi.org/10.1080/09650790400200269
Dikilitaş, K. and Wyatt, M. (2018) ‘Learning teacher-research-mentoring: Stories from Turkey’, Teacher Development, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 537–553. https://doi.org/10.1080/13664530.2017.1403369.
Ewing, L.-A. (2021) ‘Mentoring novice teachers’, Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, Vol. 29, No. 5, pp. 50–69. https://doi.org/10.1080/13611267.2021.1899585
Farrell, T. S. C. (2003) ‘Learning to teach English language during the first year: Personal influences and challenges’, Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol. 19, pp. 95–111.
Gao, X., Barkhuizen, G. and Chow, A. (2011) ‘“Nowadays, teachers are relatively obedient”: understanding primary school English teachers’ conceptions of and drives for research in China’, Language Teaching Research, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 61–81. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168810383344
Harrison, J., Lawson, T., and Wortley, A. (2005) ‘Facilitating the professional learning of new teachers through critical reflection on practice during mentoring meetings’, European Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 28, No. 3, pp. 267–292. https://doi.org/10.1080/02619760500269392
Hebert, E. and Worthy, T. (2001) ‘Does the first year of teaching have to be a bad one? A case study of success’, Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol. 17, No. 7, pp. 897–911. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-051X(01)00039-7
Heikkinen, H. L. T., Wilkinson, J., Aspfors, J. and Bristol, L. (2018) ‘Understanding mentoring of new teachers: Communicative and strategic practices in Australia and Finland’, Teaching and Teacher Education, vol. 71, pp. 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2017.11.025
Kemmis, S. and McTaggart, R. (1988) The action research planner, Geelong: Deakin University Press.
Kırkgöz, Y. (2015) ‘A collaborative action research teacher development programme’, in Dikilitaş, K. Smith, R. and Troran, W. (eds.) Teacher Researchers in Action, (pp. 387–398), IATEFL, No 2–3.
Kırkgöz, Y. (2016) ‘Improving teaching practices through a university-school collaboration in young learner classrooms’, in Dikilitaş, K., Wyatt, M., Hanks, J. and Bullock, D. (eds.), Teachers Engaging in Research, (pp. 89–99). Kent: IATEFL.
Kırkgöz, Y. (2017) ‘Insights into the process of mentoring action research by teachers of young learners’, in Burns, A., K., Smith, R. and Wyatt, M. (eds.) Developing Insights into Teacher-Research, (pp. 19–28), IATEFL Research Special Interest Group.
Kırkgöz, Y. (2018) ‘Adapting the Six Thinking Hats Principle to overcoming classroom management issues of young EFL learners’, in Garton, S. and Copland, F. (eds.) Voices from the Classroom: Young Learner Classes, (pp. 25–32), Alexandria, Va: TESOL Press.
Kırkgöz, Y. and Yaşar, M. (2020) (eds.) Araştırmacı Öğretmen: Daha İyiye Yolculuk, [Teacher as a Researcher: Journey for the Better], Ankara: Akademisyen Publisher.
Malderez, A. (2009) ‘Mentoring’, in Burns, A. and Richards , J. C. (eds.) The Cambridge Guide to Second Language Teacher Education, (pp. 259–268), New York: Cambridge University Press.
Marcos, J. J. M, Miguel, E. S. and Tillema, H. (2009) ‘Teacher reflection on action: What is said (in research) and what is done (in teaching)’, Reflective Practice, Vol.10, No. 2, pp. 191–204. https://doi.org/10.1080/14623940902786206
McDonal, F. J. (1980) Study of induction program for beginning teachers. Volume 1. The problems of beginning teachers: a crisis in training, Princeton, NJ: Education Testing Service.
McLaughlin, M. W. and Talbert, J. E. (2001) Professional communities and the work of high school teaching, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
MNE (Republic of Turkey, Ministry of National Education) (2013) 'İlköğretim Kurumları (İlkokullar ve Ortaokullar) İngilizce Dersi (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ve 8. Sınıflar) Öğretim Programı [Elementary (Primary and Lower Secondary) English Language Teaching Program (Grades 2–8)], Ankara: T.C. Millî Eğitim Bakanlığı.
Morettini, B., Luet, K. and Vernon-Dotson, L., (2019) ‘Building beginning teacher resilience: exploring the relationship between mentoring and contextual acceptance’, The Educational Forum, Vol. 84, No. 1, pp. 48–62. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131725.2020.1679933
Negi, J. S. (2019) (ed.) Exploring for action, acting for change: stories of exploratory action research in Nepal, [Online], Available at: https://www.supportsocietynepal.org.np/publication [3 Jan 2023].
Onat-Stelma, Z. (2005) Moving from teaching older learners to young learners: Cases of English language teachers in Turkey, [Dissertation thesis], Leeds: The University of Leeds.
Phan, A. N. Q. and Pham, T. X. (2022) ‘Mentoring programme and the transition of beginning teachers: view of the insiders’, PRACTICE, https://doi.org/10.1080/25783858.2022.2086060
Pollard, A., Anderson, J., Maddock, M., Swaffield, S., Warin, J. and Warwick, P. (2008) Reflective teaching: Evidence-informed professional practice, 3rd edition, London: Continuum International Publishing.
Randall, M., and Thornton, B. (2005) Advising and supporting teachers, 3rd edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Rebolledo, P., Smith, R. and Bullock, D. (2016) ‘Introduction’, in Rebolledo, P., Smith, R. and Bullock, D. (eds.) Champion teachers: Stories of exploratory action research, (pp. 4–8), British Council.
Roberts, A. (2000) ‘Mentoring revisited: A phenomenological reading of the literature’, Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 145–170. https://doi.org/10.1080/713685524
Smith, R. (2020) Mentoring teachers to research their classrooms: A practical handbook, British Council, [Online], Available at: https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/sites/teacheng/files/Mentoring_Teachers_Research_classrooms_handbook.pdf [3 Jan 2023].
Stokking, K., Leenders, F., De Jong, J. and Van Tartwijk, J. (2003) ‘From student to teacher: reducing practice shock and early dropout in the teaching profession’, European Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 329–350. https://doi.org/10.1080/0261976032000128175
Strauss, A. and Corbin, J. (1998) Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Wallace, M. (1998) Action research for language teachers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wyatt, M. (2010) ‘An English teacher’s developing self-efficacy beliefs in using groupwork’, System, Vol. 38, No. 4, pp. 603–613. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2010.09.012
Wang, Q. and H. Zhang. (2014) ‘Promoting teacher autonomy through university–school collaborative research’, Language Teaching Research, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 222–241. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168813505942
Yuan, R. and Lee, I. (2015) ‘Action research facilitated by university-school collaboration’, ELT Journal, Vol. 69, No. 1, pp.1–10. https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccu031
Zuljan, M. V. and Pozarnik, B. M. (2014) ‘Induction and early-career support of teachers in Europe’, European Journal of Education, Vol. 49, No. 2, pp.192–205. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejed.12080
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Yasemin Kırkgöz
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors declare with this manuscript intended for publication to ERIES Journal that:
- all co-authors agree with the publication of the manuscript even after amendments arising from peer review;
- all co-authors agree with the posting of the full text of this work on the web page of ERIES Journal and to the inclusion of references in databases accessible on the internet;
- no results of other researchers were used in the submitted manuscript without their consent, proper citation, or acknowledgement of their cooperation or material provided;
- the results (or any part of them) used in the manuscript have not been sent for publication to any other journal nor have they already been published (or if so, that the relevant works are cited in this manuscript);
- submission of the manuscript for publication was completed in accordance with the publishing regulations pertaining to place of work;
- experiments performed comply with current laws and written consent of the Scientific Ethics Committee / National Animal Care Authority (as is mentioned in the manuscript submitted);
- grant holders confirm that they have been informed of the submitted manuscript and they agree to its publication.
Authors retain copyright and grant ERIES Journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the published work with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in ERIES Journal. Moreover, authors are able to post the published work in an institutional repository with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in ERIES Journal. In addition, authors are permitted and encouraged to post the published work online (e.g. institutional repositories or on their website) as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.