In-service EFL Teachers’ Decision-Making in Classroom Instruction: The Impact of a Teacher Education Course

Document Type : research article


1 Department of English Language Teaching at Islamic Azad University, West Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of English Language Teaching at Islamic Azad University, West Tehran Branch, Tehran,

3 Department of English Language Teaching at Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


The emerging interest in the concept of teachers’ decision-making as a key to teaching effectiveness has mounted over the last few years. Although the number of studies conducted in this area has been vast, there is a paucity of literature on the impact of in-service teacher education courses on teachers’ decision-making (re)construction. To bridge this gap, in the present qualitative multiple case study, pre- and post-course classroom observations and the teacher education course were conducted to investigate four novice EFL teachers’ instructional decision-making. Content analysis based on Stronge’s (2007) five teacher skills checklists and microgenetic constructivist moment-by-moment discourse analysis were employed. Findings indicated five shifts from using “L1 to using L1 as well as L2 for instruction”, “one method to use different approaches and strategies in teaching,” “paper-and-pencil based activities to incorporate technology in teaching,” “whole-class or individual to using different grouping activities,” and “a strict approach to using games for teaching and learning” in teachers’ decisions. In view of the findings, it can be concluded that the focus of targeted teachers changed as a result of participating in this course. They brought valuable information from the tacit to the conscious level, negotiated it, and reshaped it to some extent. They became more aware of their abilities and considered the context, students’ levels, needs, and demands. These results are consistent with many of the previous findings reported in the literature. The main implication of this study is for institute managers, teacher educators, and EFL teachers regarding decisions and the significant role of reflection on them.


Main Subjects

Farrell, T. S. C. (2013). Reflecting on ESL teacher expertise: A case study. System, 41(4), 1070 1082.
Farrell, T. S. C. (2015a). It’s not who you are! It’s how you teach! Critical competencies associated with effective teaching. RELC Journal, 46(1), 79-88.
Freeman, D. & Johnson, K. E. (1998). Reconceptualizing the knowledge-base of language teacher education. TESOL Quarterly, 32(3), 397–417.
Nushi, M., & Ghasemi, F. (2021). Teachers’ teaching styles and their beliefs about incorporating technology into L2 instruction: The Case of Iranian EFL Context. Foreign Language Research Journal, 11(3), 511-539.
Tajeddin, Z., & Alemi, M. (2019). Effective language teachers as persons: Exploring pre-service and in-service teachers’ beliefs. TESL-EJ, 22(4). Retrieved from
Vygotsky, L. S. (2018). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes (2nd ed.). Harvard University Press.
Zarei, H. A., Gholam Hosseinzadeh, O. K., & Charmchian Langroudi, M. (2017). مدل سازی معادله ساختاری اثربخشی تدریس معلمان ریاضی دوره متوسطه شرق استان مازندران در سال تحصیلی95 -1394. [Structural equation modeling in teaching effectiveness of upper secondary level math teachers in east of Mazandaran during the educational year 2015-16]. Journal of Educational Sciences, 10(38), 95-113. (In Persian)