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Ecuadorian English Teachers’ Perspectives on Their Professional Development

Consuelo Gallardo, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Professional development (PD) plays an important role in one’s ability to perform at a high level in a job (Mizell, 2010). As such, an increased emphasis on ongoing and varied PD opportunities to support educator’s professional growth has been described as an effective approach since it pays direct dividends for teachers’ self-efficacy and prepares them to help students surpass basic academic standards (Anderson, 2018; Borg, 2018; Tanveer et al., 2021). However, PD opportunities for English teachers, who work at Ecuadorian public high schools (grades 8-13), have not been fully explored, so it has been difficult to seek and achieve this overarching goal. This has led to English teachers being fully responsible for not helping students achieve the mandated B1 (Ministerio de Educación, 2016). This dissertation study explores Ecuadorian English teachers’ perspectives relative to their access to and experiences with formal (official) and informal (causal) PD and its influence on their instruction. This study employs transcendental phenomenology as a qualitative approach to investigate this phenomenon and allow six English teachers’ voices and experiences to be heard and better understood to help unveil what has been done and what is needed in terms of PD. Data were collected using individual and focus group interviews. Transcripts were compiled and a variety of artifacts (e.g., PD advertisements, teachers’ class schedules, etc.) were gathered to triangulate the data. Interviews were coded and analyzed using Moustakas' (1994) phenomenological analysis to capture the essence and meaning of the shared English teachers’ PD perceptions and experiences. The study findings reveal a few PD successes but multiple challenges. English teachers’ common experiences emphasized that although they have worked in different subregions of the highland region, they still faced and overcame the same obstacles to access and participate in PD opportunities. Their unique PD experiences were significantly challenging, so it can be seen as a call for action to create and/or advocate for better PD to meet their needs and support their professional growth, and consequently, positively influence their students’ learning.

Subject Area

Foreign language education|Language|Pedagogy|Teacher education|Curriculum development

Recommended Citation

Gallardo, Consuelo, "Ecuadorian English Teachers’ Perspectives on Their Professional Development" (2023). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI30814372.