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Volume 6 Number 3, Autumn 2009, Pages 1-401   

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How EFL Teachers Grow: An Explorative Study on Teacher learning in Classroom Teaching

    Wenhua Cheng

Learning from one's own teaching experience has been recognized as an effective way of improving teachers' professional competence. This study proposes an on-site model of teachers' professional development, that is, a self-directed teacher learning situated in day-to-day classroom teaching. A four-month longitudinal study was conducted to examine what and how two Chinese tertiary EFL teachers learn through classroom teaching. Data analysis shows that the chief changes happened in the participant teachers' pedagogical knowledge, with the largest growth in general pedagogical knowledge and knowledge of students; changes also occurred in the teaching behaviors of the two teachers. Data also indicates that teachers learn actually at every stage involved in daily teaching, pre-class preparation for a new lesson, in-class delivery of the lesson content, and after-class reflection on their performance. Another important finding of the present study is that teacher learning is affected by such contextual factors as students, curriculum and educational policies.

Keywords: teacher learning, teacher knowledge, classroom teaching, professional development