This study investigates how novice English as a foreign language teachers (EFL) navigate their teaching in a university setting while attending an in-service teacher training program to improve their teaching skills. The purpose is to explore the influences of the curriculum followed at an intensive English program on novice teachers’ cognitions. Two Turkish novice teachers of English took part in this study, in which qualitative data collection was employed. Findings revealed that the teachers encountered certain challenges in realizing the curriculum objectives. These included confusions regarding the curriculum followed in their teaching context and tensions between their beliefs and practices while realizing the curriculum objectives which prevented them from teaching in line with their beliefs. The study also found that the teachers responded to the curriculum requirements in classrooms in different ways mostly compromising their own beliefs. The teachers’ classroom practices coupled with the influences of the curriculum on their beliefs and practices indicated that the curriculum was a hindrance for them rather than a help. This calls for a more inclusive approach to curriculum development. The study suggests that institutions should encourage teachers’ participation in decision-making processes of curriculum development and implementation. Otherwise, teachers will feel disempowered in the interpretation and application of the curriculum in their teaching contexts.


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