teacher trainer educator someone who works with teachers I often find it helpful to explore values and beliefs about teaching and learning. Simply, if we are not aware of our beliefs how can be expected to change them and/or our behavior? Below I have shared a few of questionnaires in the hope they might be helpful. Please feel to remix, re-use and recycle but I’d love to know how it goes or be linked.
Version for “NS” teachers
Please write a number between 1-5 for each of the following statements.
(1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree)
1) Planning lessons is largely a waste of time.
2) Textbooks are usually extremely helpful.
3) Most students need help to understand what is good for them in terms of language learning.
4) Language teachers need to be language experts.
5) Working with group dynamics is the most important role of the language teacher.
6) Teachers should work to promote learner autonomy.
7) Teachers should focus on learning strategies.
8) Teaching grammar can be fun for both students and teachers.
9) Teachers should be flexible to change their lesson plans in a moment’s notice.
10) Teachers shouldn’t smile till Christmas.
(draft) Version for Korean public school teachers
I believe …
1) … English class should be mostly taught in English.
2) … English teachers should translate reading texts from English into Korean.
3) … students need to speak English to learn how to speak English.
4) … English teachers should focus on what will be on the test.
5) … students need to learn more English than what is on the test.
6) ….English class should be fun.
7) ….teachers need to explain grammar points to students.
8) … English teachers should praise students.
9) … English teachers should give students feedback on what they say or write.
10) … English teachers should correct what students write.
11) … teachers need to “cover” all the pages in the textbook.
12) …teaching vocabulary is the most important job for English teachers.
13) ….teaching grammar is the most important thing for English teachers.
14) ….teachers need to keep students active and interested
15) … competition is one of the best ways to keep students interested in class.
16) …teachers should create detailed lesson plans
17) ….teachers should follow their lesson plans.
18) ….teachers should greet students and make small talk to start a lesson.
19) …teachers should write objectives on the board before class.
20) …teachers should have students repeat objectives aloud before starting class.
21) …teachers should finish class with an assessment.
22) ….teachers should use a variety of activities in class.
23) ……teachers should make sure students are not confused in class.
Values and Beliefs Questionnaire
(based on White, 1988, pp. 158-162)
Read each statement below and note whether you agree or disagree with it. You can download a copy of this questionnaire by clicking here. The questionnaire is designed to provide a window into our beliefs about language, learning, and teaching. Our values in these areas will affect the choices we make as we develop a curriculum.
- Language is a system of grammatical rules.
- Vocabulary is the most important part of a language.
- Language is basically establishing and maintaining social relationships. Language learning is best promoted through using the language in authentic situations in the classroom.
- Meaning is best conveyed through translation between the target language and the mother tongue.
- There is no transfer from one skill to another when learning a language.
- Language learning is best when the focus is on something other than the language itself.
- A syllabus should take students’ wants and interests into account even when these are different from their needs.
- A syllabus should be based on know areas of difficulty in grammar and pronunciation.
- A syllabus should be based on the students’ communicative needs outside the classroom.
- The teacher must teach to the test since exam results affect students’ future choices.
- The teacher must encourage collaboration to help facilitate learning.
- The teacher must correct students’ errors at all times.
- The teacher must remain in full control of the class at all times.
- The teacher must avoid deviating from the syllabus, the lesson plan, or the textbook.
- Students need to be kept active and interested by the teacher.
- Students usually do not know what’s good for them.
- Students achieve best in a competitive atmosphere.
- Students pick up mistakes from one another, so all language in the class must be controlled and checked by the teacher.
- Spontaneous interaction helps students to learn to communicate.
- Students in a language class feel very vulnerable and sensitive.
White, R. (1988). The ELT curriculum: Design, Innovation and Management. Oxford: Blackwell.