Research Reports

These research reports were conducted with the cooperation of TESL Ontario. Future research conducted through the TESL Ontario membership will be made available here.

Researchers at the University of Alberta surveyed the teaching of pronunciation in adult ESL programs in Canada. Read the abstract and find the full article at the following link:

Foote, J. A., Holtby, A. K., & Derwing, T. M. (2011). Survey of the teaching of pronunciation in adult ESL programs in Canada. TESL Canada Journal, 29 (1), 1-22.

This follow-up study reexamines the state of the teaching of pronunciation in ESL classes across Canada. The purpose of the survey was twofold: to gain a snapshot of current practices and to compare this with the picture of 10 years ago. We based the current work on Breitkreutz, Derwing, and Rossiter’s (2001) survey asking teachers about resources, approaches, and beliefs about teaching pronunciation. We also asked for background information about the instructors’ formal education and teaching experience. For the most part, instruction in pronunciation in Canada has not changed substantially in the last decade. More training opportunities are available, although these are still not enough according to many of our respondents. The number of pronunciation courses offered in English-as-a- second-language (ESL) programs has also increased. Teachers’ beliefs about pronunciation instruction remained largely the same, with a similar focus on suprasegmentals and segmentals. However, we did find a slight difference in how teachers approached these two aspects of pronunciation. Ten years ago, teachers reported emphasizing both aspects in class, whereas today there seemed to be a slightly greater focus on segmentals. Finally, we offer several recommendations for TESL programs, ESL programs, and ESL instructors.

Researchers at the University of Western Ontario and York University investigated how novice ESL teachers perceived the usefulness of their TESL teacher preparation. Read the abstract below and see the TESL Ontario Conference presentation. The full article is available from TESOL Quarterly Journal or by contacting the authors.

Faez, F., & Valeo, A. (2012). TESOL teacher education: Novice teachers’ perceptions of their preparedness and efficacy in the classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 46(3), 450 – 471.

This study examined the teacher education of novice teachers of English to speakers of other languages (ESOL). A survey and follow-up interviews were employed to investigate novice teachers’ perceptions about four aspects of their teacher preparation: (a) degree of preparedness to teach after graduating from a teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) program, (b) preparedness after classroom experience (up to 3 years), (c) sense of efficacy to complete teaching practices in adult ESOL classrooms, and (d) perceptions of what was useful to them in the TESOL program. Accredited ESOL teachers with less than 3 years of experience (N = 115) completed a questionnaire that explored their perceptions of preparedness and efficacy to teach in adult ESOL programs in Ontario, Canada. Eight teachers participated in follow-up semistructured interviews. Findings show that although, overall, novice teachers increased their perceptions of preparedness by gaining experience in the classroom, their sense of efficacy to perform within certain teaching expectations was task specific and highly situated. The practicum and “real” teaching experiences were found to be the most influential aspects of the induction programs. These findings have implications for teacher educators, TESOL institutions, and accreditation bodies that are committed to preparing qualified teachers for adult ESOL programs.