The impact of EFL teachers’ prior language learning experiences on their cognition about teaching grammar

2013 IJRSLL – Volume 2 Issue 5


Rayati Damavandi, Rajabali
University of Mazandaran, Iran (

Roshdi, Mina*
University of Mazandaran, Iran (


There is now a considerable body of evidence to emphasize that prospective teachers’ cognition and education are highly influenced by their beliefs about teaching and learning, which in turn are defined by their personal history and learning experiences in classrooms. However, little has been said about the possible effect of such beliefs and experiences on practicing teachers. To address this gap, the present paper set out to investigate Iranian EFL teachers’ beliefs about teaching grammar and to determine to what extent their current beliefs are influenced by their prior language learning experiences, their teacher education courses, and their teaching experiences. Analyses of data drawn from a questionnaire given to 40 experienced English teachers in an English language teaching institute and a semi-structured interview of 14 teachers from the same sample revealed a significant contribution of prior language learning experiences in the formation of the teachers’ (pre)conceptions about teaching grammar. These experiences were found to be as influential in the construction of teachers’ beliefs as the teachers’ own teaching experiences and also proved to be much more significant than their teacher education courses.

Keywords: apprenticeship of observation; teacher cognition; teacher education; teaching experience



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