Competency-based English Teaching and Learning: Investigating the Learning Experience of Islamic Azad University Teachers in Iran

Maryam Saadi, Ali Asghar Rostami Abu Saeedi, Alireza Karbalaei

Abstract


The present investigation sought to explore the Iranian Azad University teachers’ attitudes towards competency-based language courses particularly in terms of course design and assessment. Moreover, the study aimed to examine the outcomes of learning under the implementation of competency based language courses in this university based on teachers’ viewpoints. In this study, 35 teachers of Iranian Azad University were invited and given questionnairesto express their views on CBLT. Only freshmen were asked to take part in the study. Their age ranged from 20 to 24. In order to minimize the role of gender, as an intervening variable, care was taken to invite a roughly equal number of male and female participants to take part in the study. A brief description was provided about the nature of the study and the purpose of data collection. Upon teachers’ agreement to participate in the study, a package containing a copy of the two questionnaires measuring their attitudes towards competency-based language course questionnaire and their conceptions towards the outcomes of the implementation of Competency based language course was distributed among them. The participants were invited to take their time and answer the items in each of the questionnaires carefully. During the process of data collection, care was taken to consider the ethical issues of the research. For example, the teachers’ participation in the research was voluntary. Moreover, they were assured of the confidentiality of the information they provided. Also, they were informed that the collected data would be used for research purposes only. Finally, each participant was interviewed twice. In the first interview, they were asked about their perceptions regarding learning English and its necessity. The second interview asked them about the skills they had learned as well as the application of the skills. The findings of this study showed that Azad University has been almost successful in implementation of CBLT. The fact that most respondents rated all the items in both questionnaires positively indicates that most of the goals associated with CBLT have been achieved to an acceptable level based on the participants’ viewpoints. However, some of respondents found the course not very useful due to the reasons such as some instructors use Persian as the medium of instruction and communication in the classrooms, and some instructors do not provide the learners with due feedback on their assignments.


Keywords


Competency Based Teaching, Competency Based Education, Teachers’ Attitudes, Competency Based Language Learning.

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