The characteristics of an exemplary teacher: what are they?
Simpson, Adam John and Mengi, Eylem (2014) The characteristics of an exemplary teacher: what are they? Journal of Teaching English for Specific and Academic Purposes, 2 (1). pp. 89-99. ISSN 2334-9182 (Print) 2334-9212 (Online)
This article presents the findings of a study conducted in October, 2011 with students studying English at the School of Languages at Sabanci University (SU) and the participants (English teachers, academicians, and English teacher candidates) who attended our presentation "What are the characteristics of a good teacher?" presented at the 15th International INGED Conference, "Taking it to the Limits" held on 20th October, 2011 on their perceived characteristics of the exemplary teacher. The idea to conduct such a study came about upon observation of teachers' unease about the evaluation forms that students complete at the end of each semester. Teachers' perceptions of effective teaching seemed to differ from those of students. Therefore, we decided to prepare various instruments to identify and measure students' perceptions of the characteristics of exemplary language teachers and teachers' perceptions of the characteristics of the exemplary language teacher and compare the results. In light of this aim, 31 intermediate 1 and 2 level students were asked to provide a written response to the prompt "Describe your perception of the good English teacher" to explore the characteristics they find exemplary in their (past and present) language teachers' teaching practices. The participants attending our session at the INGED conference were also presented the same prompt at the beginning of our presentation and asked for a written response. The participants kept their responses until the end of the presentation in case they wanted to make any changes or additions. We hope that the findings in this paper encourage teachers to 're-contemplate' their own teaching methodology and its impacts on students' learning processes, and, if necessary, make changes to their teaching to promote students' language competence and performance.
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