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Volume 16 Number 2, Summer 2019, Pages 448-767 PDF Download

An Exploratory Study on Chinese EFL Teachers' Beliefs about Reading and Teaching Reading

    Yang Gao & William P. Bintz

In this study we explored characteristics of Chinese, English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers' beliefs about reading and teaching reading. Specifically, we investigated the relationship of beliefs between reading and teaching reading. Participants included 96 university EFL teachers who were faculty members from three different universities in a large city in Northeast China. We conducted data collection and analysis in an exploratory design through a survey of 10 open-ended questions modified from the Burke Reading Interview (BRI). We then used a quantitizing method to code all qualitative data and conducted statistical analysis to describe these data. Findings indicated that three theoretical orientations about reading (behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism) were matrixed with three different belief systems (dominant, dual, and multiple belief systems). The matrix indicated a complex belief system about reading and teaching reading among these EFL teachers. Within the matrix, relationships among different beliefs were non-linear and unpredictable. In terms of the constructivist theoretical orientation, findings indicated a statistically significant, but weak, association between teacher stated beliefs about reading and stated beliefs about teaching reading. We discussed the findings based on the research questions and provided implications for EFL teachers.

Keywords: EFL, teacher beliefs, reading and teaching reading, inconsistency, complexity