Volume 11 Issue 1 (2022)

An Investigation into the Profile of an Effective Language Teacher

pp. 122-142  |  Published Online: October 2022  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2022.111.9

Turan Paker, Büşra Duran


Background/purpose – Teachers have a pivotal role for the academic success of learners both in and out of the classroom. In this study, we attempt to identify the characteristics of effective teachers from the perspective of preservice English language teachers. With this aim, the personal characteristics, professional skills, and academic qualities of effective language teachers, as perceived by candidate teachers, were delineated.

Materials/methods – The research adopted was the mixed-method approach with the explanatory sequential design, through which both quantitative and qualitative data were collected in order to gain a better understanding, and to seek to obtain more comprehensive results. The study’s participants were 75 junior and senior students studying in the Department of English Language Teaching of a state university. The data were collected through the application of a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The quantitative data were analyzed through descriptive analysis; with mean, standard deviation, and percentage values and qualitative transcribed interview data analyzed through content analysis with themes and codes.

Results – The findings revealed that there were critical personal qualities for the effectiveness of language teachers such as treating all students equally and fairly, being motivating, being respectful, and being open-minded. Additionally, the most important professional qualities were changing the teaching style in accordance with the target students’ proficiency level, making use of various audio-visual materials and technological devices, being effective at classroom management, and knowing how to assess students through the four skills areas of language learning. The participants also highlighted their language fluency according to competence in the four language skills areas and having intelligible pronunciation as critical academic qualities for effective English teachers. 

Conclusion – According to preservice English language teachers, the study’s overall results indicated that the personal characteristics of English teachers were more appreciated than their professional or academic qualities in terms of their effectiveness.

Keywords: effective language teachers, teacher characteristics, teaching quality, perception of student teachers, English language teacher


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