Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format



Master of Arts




Faez, Farahnaz


This study explored factors that affect English language teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs in the English as a second language (ESL) context. Data were collected via two interviews with five English language teachers, one stimulated recall interview, and a full day observation of their classrooms. Based on the context and program requirements, the results showed that English language teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs are impacted by language proficiency, the curriculum and materials, the administration and collective teacher efficacy, and teaching online. Teachers view language proficiency as a principal quality of successful and effective English language teachers and this without doubt impacts their sense of professional legitimacy. They also see language as intertwined with culture, so they place an importance on teachers having language abilities and a level of proficiency sufficient in transferring cultural knowledge to their learners so as to integrate them into the culture and society. Additionally, teachers’ language proficiency affects their efficacy beliefs and their self-concept. Teachers have certain perceptions and understandings of themselves as teachers and professionals as well as beliefs on the process of teaching and learning. When they are placed in situations that do not account for or accommodate those impressions and beliefs, their self-efficacy beliefs and self-concept is impacted negatively, and positively when the situation correlates and aligns with their beliefs. The curriculum and materials impact their efficacy beliefs both positively and negatively. Teachers spend a number of uncompensated hours creating and developing materials, which affects teacher burnout and job satisfaction. However, when teachers create and develop materials and are responsible for the whole learning process, they are autonomous, and this could impact their self-efficacy beliefs in a positive way. The administration and collective teacher efficacy impacts their self-efficacy beliefs as teachers need a cooperative and supportive work environment to overcome the workload and other stress factors and challenges. Lastly, teaching online influences their efficacy as they are forced to change and adapt both their understanding of the processes of teaching and learning and who they are as teachers and professionals.

Summary for Lay Audience

The aim of this study was to explore the factors impacting self-efficacy beliefs of English language teachers in the ESL context. Self-efficacy beliefs have been looked at as a primary determinant of human agency. They are one’s beliefs in his or her abilities to bring about desired results (Bandura, 1997). They also determine one’s willingness to take on a task or endeavour. Self-efficacy beliefs have been researched in a number of fields, including health, psychology, sports, and education. Research has shown that for teachers in particular, self-efficacy beliefs determine how much effort they invest, their ability to overcome challenges, and their resilience when faced with challenges (Caprara et al., 2006; Skaalvik & Skaalvik, 2007). Additionally, they have been connected to job satisfaction and burnout (Klassen & Chiu, 2011; Skaalvik & Skaalvik, 2007; 2010), which are the two most prominent contributors to teacher attrition (Madigan & Kim, 2021). Thus, understanding the aspects that affect teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs will help curriculum developers, materials and resources developers, administrators, and teacher educators make important decisions in order to better accommodate teachers in the task of language teaching. The results of this study showed that language proficiency, the curriculum and resources, the administration and collective teacher efficacy, and teaching online all impact teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs in the ESL context. Knowing the factors that impact teachers’ efficacy beliefs makes it easier to change and adjust circumstances that build confidence in language teachers and this, as a result, can create a more stable and effective language teacher workforce.