Survey Findings - Demographics 107 responses were received in a 14 day period, with 68 from the general collector and

39 from the TTV collector. One response from the latter was discounted due to incomplete information from a duplicated IP address. Effectively this resulted in 106 full responses, who all completed the main 18 questions to reach the final page, while 23 added further comments (question 19) and 46 left their contact address (question 20) to be informed of the results of the survey and/or a follow-up interview. The full findings will be shown in the dissertation appendix. Of the first two demographic questions, 72 (67.9%) were female, 34 (32.1%) were male, with a broad range of ages being represented. 40 (37.7%) of the respondents came from the 30-39 age bracket – see figure 1. One respondent was 60 or over while, unsurprisingly, noone who took part was 20 or younger.

Figure 1

Of the second two demographic questions, a total of 54 different countries and 26 different first (or native) languages were represented. For this survey, ‘country’ was defined as

where the respondent ‘currently teaches or has recently taught’, while ‘first (or native) language’ could include two answers if that person considered themselves bilingual. Both of these open questions required a self-defined answer, rather than ticking an option from a list.

Country of teaching
1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1




1 1 7 4 4 4 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3



UK (10) Spain (7) Japan (4) Germany (3) Portugal (3) Indonesia (2) Oman (2) South Korea (2) Venezuela (2) Belgium Chile India Libya Nepal Republic of Macedonia Scotland Switzerland Uruguay

Turkey (8) Argentina (4) Australia (3) Mexico (3) Canada (2) Ireland (2) Qatar (2) Thailand (2) Vietnam (2) Cameroon Croatia Iran Middle East Netherlands Russia Slovakia Syria USA

Greece (7) China (4) England (3) none/yet to teach (3) France (2) Italy (2) Romania (2) Ukraine (2) Armenia Channel Islands Ethiopia Latvia Mynamar Poland Saudi Arabia Sweden Tanzania Virtual/Online with LEWWP

Figure 2


First (or native) language
1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 4 6 2 1 1 1 1

1 1 1

1 11

1 1 1


6 12 English (49) Greek (6) Russian (4) German (2) Italian (2) Portuguese (2) Amharic Croatian Lamnso Mandarin Chinese Persian Romanian Swiss German Ukranian Spanish (12) Turkish (6) Arabic (2) Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) (2) Polish (2) Slovak (2) Burmese Greek/English (bilingual) Macedonian Nepali Pogoro Spanish/Catalan (bilingual) Telugu

Figure 3


The most represented countries were the United Kingdom (10), Turkey (8) and Greece (7) – see figure 2. Five respondents stated that they taught in more than country and these are counted as separate entries (total 116). It is probably that they travel and actually teach in more than country, although they might associate themselves with teaching in one country (for example, as one stated, 8 years in Iran) but are currently teaching in another (Sweden). One respondent, based in the USA, stated that she has set up a virtual ‘Ning’-built website and, subsequently, teaches people from around the world. English was, perhaps not surprisingly, the most common native language stated, with 49 stating this, followed by Spanish (12) – see figure 3.

Figure 4

On the question of experience, 98 responded, with 35 stating they had 11-20 years in the area of ELT. 23 claimed more than 20 years’ experience – see figure 4. Eight managed to skip the question, which must include three who had previously stated (in Q3) they were yet to teach.

The vast majority of respondents (70) stated they were employed, with two part-time and two more employed as ‘volunteers’. This leaves 32 as ‘not employed’ - 11 self-employed, 9 as ‘freelance’, 8 as ‘student/not employed’ and 4 ‘other’. on support and training are directly related to this. The latter questions (Q16, Q17)

The survey found little support by

employers or institutions. 50% of those who responded said their employer/institution has never or on just one occasion provided support and/or training, while 62.6% responded similarly on the issue of the employer or institution paying for training – see figure 5.

Figure 5

Figure 6


The full response – see figure 6 – suggests a reasonable amount of teachers not receiving much professional development training in this area, whereas a higher proportion seem to say they are frequently (36%) or always (28.1%) self-taught in this area. On the face of it, those kinds of results would appear to correlate, but this requires some cross-tabulation with ‘employment status’. An expected high proportion of the ‘not employed’ group (32), outlined above, selected N/A for those questions relating to what their employer does. Some of those, however, answered ‘never’, possibly referring to a time when they have been employed. Although answers from the ‘not employed’ group have generally fallen into these two responses, different interpretations of the question have arisen. So what initially appears to be a reasonable finding reveals possible misunderstanding about the question and, therefore, requires further unpacking during the interview process. Q17 asked opinion on three statements relating to where training should come. It revealed both a strong desire for employer or institutions to provide and responsibility being taken by the teacher. Of those that answered the question (92) opinion seems that training should be a joint responsibility – see figure 7. The remainder (14), possibly containing many from the ‘not employed’ group, may have decided the question was not relevant, although some may still have selected the second option, given the lack of alternatives for them. By cross-tabulating, we find half of those described as ‘self-employed’ or ‘freelance’ chose N/A here. Again this needs further unpacking during interviews, as it may not have been entirely clear how to answer the question.

Figure 7


Before I discuss the taxonomy section of the survey, I will briefly show the results of question 7 – see figure 8 - which bluntly asked respondents to place themselves on the dichotomous technophobic-technophilic paradigm. I have already mentioned, during the methodology, the potential skew in asking this question during an online survey amongst teachers who have already shown engagement or interest with ICT and professional development. Nonetheless, eight teachers placed themselves at the technophobic end. Not surprisingly, a high proportion (73) placed themselves at the technophilic end, which sets up the full taxonomy discussion which follows. More interesting is how teachers describe themselves in relation to technology. Feedback during the pilot study had already suggested terms like ‘tech-aware’ and ‘tech-user’ at the lower end, with ‘tech-aficionado’ and ‘tech-savvy’ at the higher end. Here, the term ‘enthusiastic amateur’ was suggested, along with a sense of using technology when needed, appropriate for activities. The first reference to health issues was also mentioned: I benefit a lot from using it as a learner and enthusiastically use it selectively as a teacher. However, I hate sitting at the computer for long stretches due to stiff necks and shoulders (anon). This can be taken as a ‘barrier’ and I will return to these later when looking at the answers to question 15.


Figure 8

Survey Findings: Focus on Taxonomy Now I will discuss the critical section (Q8-Q12) of the survey, which is essentially the taxonomy of what English language teachers are currently doing in the area of ICT. Each of these questions offered some likely options, but also the opportunity to comment further with specific, individual responses. Question 8 is concerned with the original broader area of (continuous) professional development. In the introduction, I wondered about the extent to which teachers have found themselves increasing their knowledge through autonomous self-directed learning. A starting point is to ask teachers what they currently do in the area of PD. Here, respondents were invited to tick all that applied. ‘Following/reading blogs’ (76.8%) was the most popular response, followed by ‘engaging with an online community’ (69.5%) – see figure 9. Actually ‘writing a blog’ (41.1%) was lower down the list. More ambiguous general reading (68.4%) and voluntary self-study (63.2%) were more popular, as is the more specific activity of attending conferences (61.1%). A wide variety of additional methods were employed.

These included taking an MA, delivering peer training in e-learning, using Edudemic on iPad, watching YouTube tutorials and taking part in webinars. A small number declared they

currently did nothing or that they were just starting out, while 11 skipped the question entirely, suggesting they did none of those listed.

Figure 9

Question 9 focused on the frequency of technology, the ‘hardware’, used in teaching. It was deliberately worded in the passive so that use by students could be included. In addition, it included use outside of the classroom. Results indicated a stronger use of more conventional networked computers and laptops over tablets – see figure 10. An overhead projector, or beamer, was mentioned by some in the comments section, as was some kind of audio or voice recording equipment, such as a Dictaphone. Some stated that none of these applied, while 8 skipped the question entirely.


Figure 10

Question 10 focused on the use of web tools, or ‘software’, broadly grouped by type. Respondents were asked to select the frequency they used 15 types of tool, for which some examples were given. The results – see figures 11 and 12 – provide a snapshot of how frequent these tools were currently being used. Some of these, such as materials creation tools, are more obviously geared towards ELT, while others are not specifically designed for that purpose. Unfortunately, the question did not stipulate the use in teaching, as did question 9, so the high proportion of YouTube and social networking sites might only reflect general use. Again, this is something that can be teased out in interviews.


Figure 11

Figure 12


Given the vast amount of web tools now in existence, it was unsurprising that many respondents wanted to share specific names of tools, offering links and recommendations. Glogster, Screen Chomp (for iPad), VoiceThread, Voki, Headmagnet, FlashcardsDb, Fotobabble, Mailvu, Dropbox, Evernote and Lyrics Trainer were just some of those mentioned. See Appendix (ii) for the full list. General factors behind using these tools were investigated in Question 12 and would be explored further in the interviews. Question 11 asked how teachers discovered ICT or web tools. This straightforward, optional question revealed the highest proportion of respondents (79) stating this was through ‘selfdiscovery’ – see figure 13. This suggests complete independence, but I would suggest an overlap exists with other methods, such as searching for certain terms on the internet, following a blog, or discovering a tool at a conference. Certainly the crossover with Indeed, a brief cross-

question 8, about professional development activities, exists.

tabulation between these two questions – see figure 14 - shows very high response rates between those engaged in numerous activities for PD and those who claim to ‘self-discover’.

Figure 13


Figure 14

As already mentioned, the factors behind choosing a tool were explored in Question 12. Does the web ‘visitor’ purposefully have a pedagogical aim and looks for a tool that does the job or do they ‘discover’ the tool and then adapt the lesson accordingly? It is, perhaps, not surprising that most teachers consider the importance of a tool to be easy to access, easy to use and ideally free – see figure 15. In addition, it needs to be relevant, engaging, motivating and justified. Opinion is strong across all of these and it can be difficult to argue against that. It was far less important for the institution to have a subscription. Although

many tools are basically free, there are often paid-for versions which do more, such as increased integration. One respondent commented that it was important for students to be able to embed content on other sites. Another, who would later be interviewed, proposed that it should be ‘andragogically justified’, an alternative term to describe a theory of adult learning, coined by Knowles (cited in Hartree, 1984: 204) in contrast to a more child-based pedagogy, ‘the art or science of teaching children’. Many of the above taxonomy questions shown required further unpacking to remedy the potential weaknesses shown in the significant, but often misleading data obtained. That is where follow-up interviews can be more explicit in their meaning towards, for example, factors behind choosing and using a web tool. I will move onto the interview data shortly, but not before summarising the responses to two key questions set out earlier. How autonomous are teachers in learning about tools, as opposed to merely discovering them, and what are the barriers to implementation?


Figure 15

Survey Findings: Autonomy and Barriers Earlier I discussed overlapping definitions of teacher autonomy, which highlighted the development of appropriate skills and attitudes, the capacity to make choices and the support offered by teacher-learner pools of diverse knowledge (see page x). I also detailed the theoretical dimensions which separated ‘action’ from ‘development’ (page x). I would like to use these constructs to frame my discussion of the responses to Q14 and Q15. These questions move the respondents on from their autonomous behaviour in respect of general professional development, such as going to conferences, to the more specific learning required to effectively use an ICT or Web tool. A person’s capacity and/or willingness to engage in self-directed behaviour might be based on their ‘relationship’ with technology, or how they perceive their ability to learn the tool. But this capacity can also be seen in terms of an ability to put theory (learning of the tools) into action (integration). This, in turn, can be compromised by barriers which limit this. Just as McGrath and Smith (ibid) separated those factors which an autonomous teacher has control of from those which are outside of


their control, so too can we separate out factors which show good intention to learn and implement these tools, from those which prevent it happening in reality.

Figure 16


Figure 17

Q14 asked how frequently teachers engage in autonomous behaviour, such as learning a tool on their own. What is their reliance on others? This effectively begins to explore their capacity and/or willingness to learn the tool. The results – see figure 16 – suggest a high level of autonomous behaviour. Most striking is that 80 (86.9%) teachers of those who answered said that they learn by using and practicing, suggesting that confidence comes with being self-taught. Almost as likely, 72 (78.3%) said they would try a tool out and only resort to help if needed. 40 (43.5%) respondents claimed they frequently teach themselves everything they need to know. Occasionally they would rely on others to show them what to do but overall, according to the data, this appears to be a fairly resourceful and autonomous set of teachers, as even if they do not know how to do something, they know where to go to find out, such as a teacher training video site. One teacher highlighted their attitude: Most often I have a go and if it's not intuitive and easy to work out, or I want ideas on how to use then I Google it and will usually find a YouTube video or blog with loads of great advice. (see Appendix)

Q15 effectively asked what kinds of barriers exist in moving the teacher from learning about the tool (professional development) to using the tool in reality (professional action). ‘Financial costs’ - 60 (65.2%) – was the biggest barrier, with 54 of those stating it was important or very important for tools to be free (cross-tabulation with Q12). ‘Reliability’ also scored highly – 55 (59.8%), and there is some expected correlation with the question on ‘technophobia’ – see figure 16.

Figure 18

Lack of training – 37 (40.2%) and time consumption – 44 (47.8%) appeared lower down than expected, but we have already established this group as fairly resourceful. Institutional resistance - 40 (43.5%) could encompass all situations where stricter controls on how things are taught apply, or the difficulties in getting permission to install software, as some commented. While 14 skipped the question and/or wrote ‘none at all’ in the comments, others took the opportunity to highlight their personal barriers. One stated that while it’s not time consuming, per se, to learn these tools, they don’t have enough time to devote ‘to fully discovering, assessing and incorporating the tech into the lessons.’ Another described physical discomfort or the ergonomic issues being ‘the elephant in the living room’. The health aspect is often overlooked, with a teacher being tied to a screen of some kind. In addition: Another elephant in the living room with ICT is the problem of deteriorating quality of concentration that many of us have been experiencing as we become more adept and frequent ICT users in every aspect of our lives (see appendix).


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