The teaching of speaking: an investigation into the relationship between teachers’ beliefs and practices in Kazakhstani state secondary school EFL classrooms.

  • Askat Tleuov

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The current study is an attempt to provide insights into the nature of tensions and consistencies between teachers’ belief-practice relationships and how these impact on teaching practices. The study aims to address three main research gaps. Firstly, it explores EFL teachers’ belief-practice consistency level in relation to the teaching of speaking, an understudied curricular domain. Secondly, the phenomenon is examined from two major perspectives: teachers’ perceptions of their own pedagogical contexts and their core-peripheral belief systems, thus using a multi-perspective approach which is usually not the case with other studies in the field. Finally, the study took place in Kazakhstani secondary school EFL classrooms, a geographical context which has not featured at all in the language teacher cognition literature to date. Using a multiple-case design and multiple methods of data collection, the research project explored the relationship between four EFL teachers’ stated beliefs and classroom practices in relation to the teaching of speaking. The teachers were interviewed and observed over a period of nine months. The findings provide evidence of how speaking instruction unfolded in the classroom and the multiplicity of factors which shaped teacher decision-making and behavior. Specifically, the insights from my study highlight the impact of a) teachers’ perceptions of their pedagogical contexts, b) their core and peripheral beliefs, and c) the interaction of all these factors on the enactment of their speaking instruction beliefs. These findings carry important implications for the field of language teacher cognition, and for teacher education and professional development.
Date of Award26 Apr 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorSantiago Sanchez (Supervisor) & Trevor Grimshaw (Supervisor)


  • teacher cognition
  • language teacher cognition
  • teacher beliefs
  • teacher practices
  • teaching speaking

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