present study sought to examine the effectiveness of evaluation of teachers'
competency in EFL classrooms on Iranian learners' motivation. The study was
conducted at Alzahra technical school in Qazvin, Iran. 300 female EFL students
at intermediate level of proficiency comprised the participants of this study.
The researchers selected the participants based on convenience sampling and
divided them into two equal groups; each group was randomly assigned to one of
the treatment conditions. In the experimental group, the principal observed the
classes and constantly reminded the teacher that all the positive and negative
points would be taken into account. After eight observation sessions, the
principal evaluated the teacher. Throughout all these eight sessions, the
teacher was expected to provide a supportive environment in the classroom, and
a friendly relationship was expected between the teacher and the students. In
the control group, the teacher was not evaluated by the principal. Before and after
the experimental period, a motivation questionnaire was administered to both
groups of participants to compare the two conditions. An ANCOVA procedure was
used to analyze the data. The findings revealed that the evaluation of
teachers' competency in EFL classrooms has a statistically significant
relationship with Iranian learners' motivation. These findings may have
pedagogical implications for language teachers and learners.
Words : evaluation, teachers' competency, learners' motivation, principal
objective of many educational planning programmes is to grow students'
motivation in various cognitive, individual, and social skills necessary to
function occupationally in society (Fullan, 2001). Teachers' role in the
preparation of students is undeniable. The students' success in future social
activities depends to a large extent on their teachers' knowledge and
professional development. One issue related to professionalism of teachers has
to do with the necessity of bridging the gap between knowledge acquired during
formal pre-service education and further developments accruing while teachers
are employed (Nir & Bogler, 2007).
professional development programs try to bridge this gap by allowing teachers
to develop new ideas that will improve their teaching experience and competence
(Mtetwa & Thompson, 2000), increase and renew their teaching skills and
practices (Desimone, Porter, Garet, Yoon, & Birman, 2002), change their
thoughts and perceptions (Guskey, 2002) and bring about improvements in their
students’ achievements and motivation (Blandford, 2000). It is believed that
the poor quality of EFL instruction can partly be attributed to the lack of
teacher's professional development. As a result, evaluation has been introduced
as one of the teachers' professional activities to help teachers improve their
teachers make the most of any opportunities to observe others. They watch a
range of teachers' classroom activities. It is very encouraging to see that
everyone has similar problems, and it is interesting to study the different
ways people manage them (Bubb, 2005). Evaluation may also be helpful for novice
teachers as it can help them improve their own teaching skills. Previous
research has shown that teacher quality is a crucial factor in student
learning; the problem is to identify the important characteristics of teacher
quality and help teachers to develop these qualities (Wenglinsky, 2000).Viewing
the problem of improving student performance from this point of view makes the
development of systematic methods of classroom evaluation a critical component
in improving teacher quality.
important point motivating research in this area is the role of teacher
observation in countries like Iran where evaluation of teachers has not taken
the place it merits, (Akbari, Ghafar Samar, & Tajik, 2007). Also,
evaluation of teaching practice can be seen as a method of teacher training
classroom observations, however, have emphasized the need for more
developmental than judgmental approaches to classroom observations. The main
purpose of evaluation is not to judge subjectively what is good and bad
teaching, but to work with the observee to explore and identify the limitations
as well as the positive aspects of teaching, thereby promoting the observee’s
critical thinking and professional growth. Such an approach, as Williams (1989,
p.85) states, helps teachers to “develop their own judgments of what goes on in
their own classrooms, sharpen their awareness of what their pupils are doing
and the interactions that take place in their classes, and heighten their
ability to evaluate their own teaching practices.” This implies that observation
can serve as an intermediary between teachers' teaching philosophies and
practices. Nunan (1989, p. 76) also holds that since classrooms are “where the
action is”, spending time looking into classrooms can enrich our understanding
of language learning and teaching.
notion of observing teachers' professional development and growth has received
considerable attention (Greene, 1992). The problem is that the traditionally
static structure of the observation has mainly remained unchanged. As such, the
nature of the current student teacher observation is not compatible with the
current theories of observation (Rodgersa & Keil, 2007). To fill a part of
this gap by taking a reformist step, this study aims to shed light on the
potential for observation to offer an alternate avenue for teacher professional
can play a critical role in the observation process in that they can build
effective relationships with other teachers based on trust, reflection, and
empowerment (Kent, 2001). Research (e.g., Raphael, 2004) shows that teachers
who work in collaboration with university academic staff develop skills that
can positively affect the observation process. In the present study, we adopted
the critical-constructivist perspective which, according to Wang and Odell
(2002), reflects the fundamental assumption that knowledge is actively built by
learners through the process of active thinking (P. 497). Within the
critical-constructivist perspective, observation is connected to teachers’ work
with their students, linked to concrete tasks of teaching, organized around
problem solving, informed by research, and sustained over time by ongoing
conversations and coaching (pp. 42–43).
aspects of teacher development and the role of observation in teacher
development have already been investigated. However, to the best of the present
researchers’ knowledge, few, if any, studies have investigated the effect of
the observation of teacher on learners’ motivation. The purpose of the present
study, therefore, is to address this issue.
Motivation and Teacher Quality
is among the influential factors that can affect the efficiency of learners in
language classes. Hence, language educators should be careful in taking this
factor into account in the process of language teaching (Oroujlou & Vahedi,
2011). Motivation plays an important role in the process of language learning.
Language teachers cannot efficiently teach a language if they do not comprehend
the relationship between motivation and its effect on language learning.
to Gardner (1985), motivation in second language learning is considered as
“referring to the extent to which a student works or struggles to learn the
language because of a desire to do so and the pleasure experienced in this
activity” (p.10). Dörnyei (2001) believes motivation is a word that both
instructors and students utilize widely when they speak about language learning
success or failure.
(2009) points out, early attempts to comprehend the effect of motivation on
English language learning were made in the field of social psychology.
Nowadays, there is little doubt that motivation influences language learning.
The question is ‘can other factors in language learning affect motivation’? One
of the factors that are believed to influence learners’ motivation is
teachers’ impact on their students’ motivation starts early in the planning
phase of the lesson. The reason is that in the early stages of classroom
planning, students’ characteristics, motivational type and pre-existing
motivation levels must be taken into account (Schunk, Pintrich & Meece,
2008). Giving praise and criticism are also important factors which can
influence students’ motivation. Praise should not be given in too frequently
nor too rarely; otherwise, it will lose its positive effect. Criticism can have
a positive effect if it is not given too often (Schunk, Pintrich & Meece,
2008). Chambers (1999) also points out that the relationship between the instructor
and the learners defines the character of the learning situation, which also
English language teachers need a definite set of abilities. Coniam and Falvey
(1999) listed teaching ability, language awareness and language ability. For
effective teaching, EFL teachers must first have good teaching skills.
Secondly, they should know how the English language works, and how people learn
and use it. Third, they must have adequate English language proficiency (Edge,
empirical studies (e.g. Clotfelter, Ladd, & Vigdor, 2007) have shown how
differences in achievement gains for students are connected to teacher
qualifications. Clotfelter, Ladd, and Vigdor (2007) indentified important
predictors of student achievement, namely teacher experience, teacher
certification test scores, regular licensure, certification of teaching skills,
and academic background.
(2006) inspected the factors that demotivated Japanese language learners. The
results of this study showed that teachers play an important role in this
regard, and the character and pedagogy of teachers were meaningfully related to
learners’ perceptions of the course, the subject, and their capabilities to
learn a foreign language.
Piggot (2008) inspected Japanese students’
feelings of the motivating and demotivating classroom factors in learning
English. The results showed that teachers’ persona, presentation skills,
affiliative motive, and control were among the significant factors that
motivated/demotivated students. In another study, Falout et al, (2009) studied
the demotivating factors in learning English as a foreign language in Japan and
the correlation between EFL learners’ past demotivating experiences and present
proficiencies. The results showed that Course Level and Teacher Immediacy were
significantly related, implying that the more learners perceive teachers as
accessible, the more they perceive the level of the courses as suitable. In Sakai and Kikuchi’s (2009) study, five
demotivating factors were extracted. Teacher competence and teaching style were
found to be among the most significant factors that demotivated students in
learning English as a foreign language.
and Sadighpour (2011) looked at Iranian technical and vocational students’
demotivating factors in learning English as a foreign language. The students
reported that teachers and their teaching quality were among the main factors
that demotivated them. Maini (2011) focused on the effect of teacher training
on classroom management. The results showed a significant increase in teachers’
confidence in managing learners’ misbehavior and in using of rewards as a
longitudinal study, Elliot (1998) concluded that well-qualified instructors had
a meaningful influence on students’ achievement. In this study, teacher
qualification was measured by education, experience and teaching methods.
Evertson, Hawley and Zlotnik (1985) compared well-educated teachers with less
educated teachers. The results showed achievement gains for students with
well-educated teachers. They also reported that achievement was related to the
instructors’ knowledge of the subjects instructed. In a study involving 7000
students, Wenglinsky (2000) found that the quality of the teaching force had a
similar influence on students’ test scores as socioeconomic status. In
Darling-Hammond’s (1999) study, teacher certificate and subject matter
knowledge were found to correlate with students’ test results.
education is presently facing a number of concerns as pressures have come from
many parts in the last decades, with perhaps the most powerful focus being on
the issue of teacher quality (Tony & Richard, 2001). As teacher education
advocates state, emphasis should be placed on providing educators with the
skills necessary to make a meaningful impact on student learning. That is
probably why Egelson and McCoskey (1998) assert that an evaluation system
designed to encourage individual teacher growth is not a luxury but a
necessity. Viewing the problem of improving student motivation and performance
from this point of view makes the development of systematic methods of
classroom evaluation a critical component in improving teacher quality.
Also, despite the impact of evaluation as a
professional development activity on teachers and students' development, it
remains unclear how the process of evaluation will be implemented in the
classroom and how it can help teachers develop their teaching strategies.
Accordingly, this study aimed to investigate the effect of constant monitoring
of teaching practice on students' motivation improvement in learning. To this
end, the present study aimed to answer the following research question:
the evaluation of teachers' competency have a statistically significant effect
on Iranian EFL learners' motivation?
participants of this study were 300 female EFL students at the lower
intermediate level of proficiency. All of the participants were native speakers
of Persian studying at Alzahra technical school in Qazvin, Iran. They ranged
from 16 to 17 in terms of age, and they were in grade two of high school. The
researchers selected the participants based on convenience sampling and divided
them into two groups randomly. Each group consisted of 150 participants.
present study, a motivation questionnaire was used before and after the
treatment. The researchers administered a pretest to measure the students'
level of motivation before the treatment. For this test, out of a total of 160
items from different questionnaires, 30 items were chosen, and the participants
were asked to choose from among five alternatives including strongly agree,
agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree.
number of items in the original questionnaires was many, so the researchers
decided to limit the number of items for two reasons: First of all, only items
were selected that were related to the topic of this study. Second, the items
were also related to the criteria that are used in the technical school to
evaluate teachers. Meanwhile, due to the fact that the proficiency level of the
participants was low, the researchers translated the questions into Persian to
ensure accurate comprehension. This questionnaire consisted of two sections.
The first part contained 18 items which evaluated learners' motivation. The
second part consisted of 12 items which evaluated the atmosphere of the
classroom, appearance of the teacher, interpersonal relationship between
teacher and students and the usage of educational aids.
the items of the newly-designed questionnaire were selected from already
established questionnaires, to make sure that the new combination of items was
reliable in the context of this study, the reliability of the questionnaire was
checked using Cronbach's alpha, and the reliability analysis showed a
reliability index of .86.
and data analysis
achieve the aim of the study, the following procedures were followed. First,
300 learners received the motivation pretest. They were then divided into two
groups, and each group was randomly assigned to one of the treatment
conditions. First of all the principal explained the duties of each teacher as
well as her evaluation sheet.
Presidency for Management and Human Capital Development has laid down certain
duties for all government employees. Ministry of Education has assigned duties
to teachers based on the Document of Fundamental Change communicated by The
Presidency for Management and Human Capital Development as a ‘Description of
Teachers Duties Form’. These forms have various applications. They have special
uses in our education system. The school principal should fill them out when
necessary. The number of items is different in each section. Teachers’ duties
are mentioned in the forms. In the present study, three features were common in
these five forms, and these features had more significance for the principal,
who was also one of the researchers. The principal selected the following three
teacher should use educational aids in the classroom.
main concern of the teacher should be creating motivation and promoting
motivation in the process of learning.
teacher should provide a supportive environment in the classroom and there
should be a friendly relationship between the teacher and students.
experimental group, the principal constantly reminded the teachers that all the
positive and negative points would be taken into account. Each week, the
principal observed the classes and evaluated the whole process of language
learning. In contrast, the teacher in the comparison group was not evaluated by
the principal, and there was no other intervention by the principal.
the fourth form known as ‘Monitoring Teacher Performance’ the principal
monitored the performance of the teacher in the classroom. The principal marked
and credited the fourth form after observing the teacher's performance in the
classroom. The final score given by the principal could have an important
effect on the salary of the teachers.
eight observation sessions, the principal evaluated the teacher. Throughout all
these eight sessions, the teacher was expected to provide a supportive
environment in the classroom, and a friendly relationship was expected between
the teacher and the students.
After the required data were collected, to test the research hypothesis
and to answer the research question, an ANCOVA procedure was run on the data.
to assess the reliability of the motivation questionnaire, the researchers used
the data collected from 300 EFL learners. The results, as represented in Table
4.1, revealed that Cronbach’s Alpha was 0.86, which is good indicator of
ANCOVA (Analysis of Covariance) procedure was used to compare the motivation of
the two groups of participants before and after the treatment. Before running
the ANCOVA the assumptions were checked. The evaluation of teachers' competence
was considered as the between-subject factor, motivation posttest scores as the
dependent variable and motivation pretest scores as the covariate. Table1.
contains the results of tests of between-subjects effects.
tests of between-subjects effects (Table1. above) showed a statistically
significant effect of the evaluation of teachers' competence in EFL classrooms
(F (1, 297) = 85, p < .05, Eta square= .22) on Iranian intermediate
learners' motivation in learning. As a result, the null hypothesis was
rejected. Therefore, it can be claimed that the evaluation of teachers'
competence in EFL classrooms had a statistically significant effect on Iranian
intermediate learners' motivation.
research question in the present study focused on the importance of evaluating
teachers' competence in enhancing Iranian lower intermediate learners'
motivation. The results provided fairly strong support for the effect of
evaluation. In accordance with the result of the present study, Moiinvaziri
(2008) claimed that Iranian students are both instrumentally and integratively
motivated to learn English. The result of the present study is consistent with
previous studies (Falout et al, 2009; Sakai & Kikuchi, 2009) which have
shown that evaluating teachers' competencies enhances, encourages, and
facilitates EFL learners' motivation. In addition, the findings of this study
corroborate those of Piggot (2008), who reported how evaluation assisted
learners' motivation in learning a new language.
findings of the present study extend those of previous studies in that they
support evaluation that could be utilized to assist learning motivation.
Numerous studies have shown that evaluation bears positive impact on motivation
(Evertson, Hawley, & Zlotnik, 1985; Maini, 2011; Rahimi & Sadighpour,
Hawley, and Zlotnik (1985) found that a useful way for promoting motivation is
evaluating teachers' competency. This is supported by the findings of the
present study. Additionally, Douglas, Harris and Sass (2007) state that
classroom evaluation results in higher motivation. Further support for the
finding of the present study comes from Ashton and Webb (1986), who showed that
teachers' evaluation had the greatest impact on student motivation.
to Darling-Hammond (2000), teachers with more preparation for teaching are more
confident and successful with students than teachers who have little
preparation or none (As cited in Garcia, 2011); this is supported by the
findings of the present study. Moreover, it can be concluded that the proposed
technique, i.e. evaluation teachers' competency, can be used to enhance EFL
learners' motivation, as an effective way in language classrooms.
other hand, the findings of the present study are in contrast with those of
Jacob and Lefgren (2004), who found no relationship between teachers'
participation in professional development activities and student achievement;
other studies have found higher levels of students' motivation related to
teachers’ professional development relevant to the area in which they are
teaching (Brown, Smith, & Stein, 1995; Cohen & Hill, 1977; Wiley &
the studies have considered some form of impact of professional development on
teachers’ knowledge and practice which includes the effectiveness of programs
on personal changes of teachers' cognition, beliefs, practice and teachers'
satisfaction as well as pupil change (Avolas, 2011). There are different
results which show a relationship between teachers’ participation in
professional development activities and student outcomes.
significantly higher motivation on the posttest for the students in the
teacher-evaluation group over those in the no-evaluation group may have been
due, at least in part, to information provided in the teacher
evaluation/feedback that was directly relevant to the program content assessed
on the posttest. Classroom observations revealed that teachers did a
particularly good job of teaching the instructional content that, in general,
was relatively unfamiliar to them. The difficulties that the teachers had while
delivering the instructional program could be attributed to the fact that
instructional methods and assessment strategies included in the program were
relatively new to the teachers.
practical importance is the fact that the teacher whose classrooms were visited
by the principal tended to value specific effective teaching practices more
than did the teacher whose classrooms were not visiled by the principal.
the findings of the present study, we can conclude teachers' class evaluation
is received well by EFL teachers, and its introduction is beneficial and
effective for both teachers and students. Promoting teacher evaluation is
clearly in the national interest and it serves students and their families and
communities. Teachers need feedback on their performance to help them identify
how to better shape and improve their teaching practice and, with the support
of effective school leadership, to develop schools as professional learning
communities. At the same time, teachers should be accountable for their
performance and progress in their careers on the basis of demonstrated
effective teaching practice.
findings in this study do clearly establish the usefulness of the supervisory
method used in the present study which clearly helped the teacher to work
toward change. It further showed that, by working with teachers in some
capacity, supervisors can change the way teachers feel about the teaching
techniques which ought to be employed in their classrooms and, consequently,
their motivation. This conclusion, together with the implications for a
differentiated approach to teacher supervision, formed the most significant
findings of this study.
a comprehensive approach may be costly, but is critical for enhancing
educational quality, and improving teaching practices through professional
development. The results of this study showed that evaluation of teachers'
competency in EFL classrooms significantly affects teachers' development and
their students' motivation in learning. Of course, this study has some
limitations which can be considered in future research. First, as the focus of
this study was only on direct evaluation, other studies can be conducted on
other variables like participants' major, motivation, psychological
characteristics, and attitude. Second, as the number of participants was
limited to 150 EFL students, other studies can be done with more
participants.Third, as all the participants of this study studied English
language in schools, future studies can be done with higher level participants
at universities to see whether the results are different or not. Last but not
least, as gender was considered not as a variable in this study, future studies
can be done just by male participants or female participants simultaneously in
order to understand whether there are any differences between the results of
male and female participants.
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