Teaching a foreign language is a challenging profession that needs lifelong learning through well-planed formal and informal procedures. Teachers of English, therefore, should always be abreast with up to date teaching methods and techniques. Professional development needs to be the first priority for teachers, school principals, and governments. Training a teacher to be a competent EFL teacher is very difficult; however, keeping a teacher up to date and skilled is much more difficult. More surprisingly even, professional development is more vital than teachers college training since in-service professional development helps teachers find practical solutions for problems they actually face.
Providing professional development opportunities is a crucial factor for long-term success of teaching programs. Since EFL teachers always encounter classroom troubles, they need to have opportunities of on-going professional development. Professional development can be achieved through high quality in-service training courses. In addition, extensive reading contributes in developing teachers especially reading up to date periodicals. Providing different opportunities for teachers to reflect on their performance is a very crucial element of EFL teachers' professional development.
Theses opportunities might be open discussions, teachers’ diaries, peer observation, collaborative action research and self-evaluation methods. However, EFL professional development faces several different difficulties such as the number and the quality of in-service training courses. Lack of specialized periodicals and books, heavy teaching load, lack of confidence, working in isolation, and uncooperative colleagues might also be obstacles facing EFL teachers' professional development. Moreover, the absence of intrinsic motivation and the authoritative nature of educational supervision are central EFL teachers' professional development hindrances. The question is what are EFL teachers' professional development obstacles?
- Teaching resources
- Teacher development
- Teacher training