Action Research Practices in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) at Addis Ababa University: Implications for Quality Language Teaching
The world trend today demands of higher education institutions to focus on learning, particularly higher order learning skills. This entails focusing on the actual classroom activities rather than the planning. This is because it is whatever actually happens in the classroom that really matters, that makes a difference to the level and the type of student learning. This in turn calls for teacher empowerment and commitment to base his/her classroom decisions and actions on self-initiated research. This study, therefore, aimed at investigating the level of EFL teachers’ action research practices and its implications for enhancing quality language teaching at Addis Ababa University. Data were collected from purposively selected 25 language instructors at the University. Whereas the overall research approach was descriptive, qualitative and quantitative methods were employed in analyzing the data. The results have shown that even though the instructors had some knowledge and awareness about the importance of action research, they actually did not practice it due to several hindering factors, inter alia, lack of motivation; time constraint; paucity of research fund, facilities and materials; dealing with poorly prepared students; rushing for content coverage; large class size; and work load. It is, therefore, recommended that the University create enabling environment by empowering the forefront practitioners to take ownership of inquiring their practices so as to create and sustain quality language teaching in particular, and contribute enhanced efforts for excellence in Ethiopian classrooms in general.
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