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Australian Journal of Teacher Education

Australian Journal of Teacher Education

Abstract

This mixed methods study investigated the contextual and educational dimensions of engaging language teachers in second language acquisition (SLA) theory and research to inform second language pedagogy. To this end, 132 Iranian English teachers completed the questionnaire designed by Nassaji (2012) that includes both Likert-scale items and open-ended questions. The participants had academic degrees in majors related to English language. They constituted two groups of public sector (n=66) and private sector (n=66). Each group was divided in two sub-groups, one with Bachelors of Arts (B.A.) and the other with Master of Arts (M.A.). Quantitative data analyses revealed a significant difference between the perceptions of the participants of public and private sector with B.A and M.A. degrees towards the relevance and usefulness of SLA research, the role of teachers and researchers, and perceiving teacher as researcher. Moreover, analyzing the open-ended questions revealed instances of attitudes, motivations, and challenges experienced by the participants reflecting the need to use SLA theory and conduct research to enrich pedagogical practices, ability to conduct research, access, understanding research articles, and dealing with institutional constraints. The findings have implications for policy makers to encourage practice-oriented research courses and research-oriented practicums across both contexts of public and private sectors.


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