Research Student: Taguhi Sahakyan
The motivation of EFL teachers at an Armenian University: Teacher selves in context
Submission Date: October 2016
The aim of the study is to explore motivation of EFL teachers who teach English at one of the universities in Armenia. Teacher motivation is a complex construct and when exploring one’s motivation, it is important to consider all the facets of his/her self within the dynamic and multi-layered context. I intend to use Teacher motivational self framework based on possible selves theory where the ideal language teacher self characterizes future images of identities, objectives and desires of the language teacher and ought-to language teacher self refers to the language teacher’s representation of his/her responsibilities and duties with regard to his/her teaching practice. The teaching/learning experience is another dimension of the framework where the teacher’s current self is formed. Ideal and ought-to selves develop based on the current selves and future goals evolving in the certain teaching/learning environment and all those processes occur in the school environment and larger socio-cultural context and, therefore, I define them as essential components of the proposed framework. School environment represents the micro-level in which the teacher selves develop and transform and where teaching/learning occurs; it comprises everything linked to the school/institution (e.g. colleagues, managers, administrators, curriculum). Socio-cultural context stands for the macro-level and involves societal attitudes towards teachers, cultural expectations of the qualities teachers should possess, state educational policies and so on.
In 2005, I obtained a Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, American University of Armenia and was offered to teach various English courses at the university. In 2007, I participated in the Junior Faculty Development Program sponsored by the U.S. State department and spent one semester in the United States auditing classes, participating in conferences and workshops. In 2012, I moved to the UK to continue my professional development and earned a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics at the University of Nottingham.
What motivated me to undertake PhD study?
During my master’s courses I became interested in research, especially, in the area I am currently exploring. I also wanted to develop my understanding of the field and gain skills that might lead to a better job.
What makes me passionate about my subject?
Being a teacher myself, I know that teachers are very influential in the classroom and maintaining teacher motivation is beneficial for several reasons. First of all, it has an impact on learner motivation; learners’ desire to study a subject and their achievements are affected by teacher motivation. Secondly, teacher motivation also matters in terms of teachers’ own satisfaction, fulfillment and persistence in the profession. It has an impact on their behaviours, plans, psychological health and well-being. That is why, I want to better understand what motivates teachers, how their motivation develops and what factors may have an effect on teacher motivation.
What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?
After completing my PhD, I intend to publish articles based on my research, start teaching degree courses at the university level and continue my research practice.