An exploratory study of curricular change in an EFL context
Aydınlı, Julie Mathews
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This study provided insights about the process of implementing curricular change in an EFL context by identifying the problems in an existing curriculum and needs of the students, setting goals based on those needs and problems, selecting an appropriate teaching tool, training the administrators and teachers on that tool and preparing students for the new teaching tool to be implemented into the curriculum, and piloting and evaluating the new tool. In addition, it explored teachers’ and students’ attitudes towards a new learning tool in a university EFL program and investigated the administrators’, teachers’ and students’ attitudes towards implementing that teaching tool into the curriculum at Afyon Kocatepe University School of Foreign Languages (AKU SFL). This study was conducted at AKU SFL, with the participation of 12 teachers (three of whom are also administrators) and one class of 25 students together with their teacher. Data were collected through questionnaires, interviews, learner diaries, classroom observation and journals. The findings of this study revealed that teachers, students, and administrators had positive attitudes towards the chosen teaching tool and its implementation in the curriculum at AKU SFL. In addition, all sets of participants indicated some potential constraints of using the new tool and proposed a variety of recommendations for possible improvements. Moreover, this study underlined some major aspects of a process of implementing curricular change in an EFL context. The importance of teacher training, preparing students for the new tool, and taking administrators, teachers, and students’ opinions into consideration in all of the steps of a curricular change was revealed. This study also provides a model for a curricular change process in similar institutions.