EFL teachers’ reactions to reflective interviews

Quint Oga-Baldwin

Teacher reflection has been shown to be a powerful form of feedback for improving self-efficacy. To date, the study of the development of teacher self-efficacy in second language education has been an underdeveloped area. This study outlines how reflection works with teacher beliefs to improve pedagogy, the ways in which reflective practice can influence teacher self-efficacy, and presents observational, longitudinal, qualitative data taken from in-service teachers. Six university level EFL teachers were interviewed ten times each during the 2009 Japanese school year. Each interview used a preset battery of questions to elicit statements about feelings of success and failure, attributions for those feelings, and changes in teaching in response to those experiences. In the final interview, teachers were asked about their reactions to the experience, and how they applied the experience to their teaching. Results indicate that the teachers studied believe reflection to be valuable, reporting that the interview process did indeed improve beliefs about their own effectiveness to differing extents; however, they may not necessarily want to continue to participate in a peer-supported reflection program.