National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
The purpose of this study was to provide a detailed analysis and investigation of various professional development avenues in Taiwan to discover how EFL teachers’ professional growth can best benefit from the different models, what difficulties teachers have encountered, and how they can be further supported in teacher professional development. The data sources for this study were comprised of two major parts: one was derived from the questionnaire as the pilot investigation for this study to understand EFL elementary teachers’ general professional development experience, and the other was collected from the interviews with 24 elementary English teachers, using the pre-established protocol reviewed from the existing TPD literature accompanied by the results from the pilot investigation. This study first reviewed and investigated (1) all the possible EFL teacher professional development avenues, (2) to what extent the in-service elementary school EFL teachers found each of these avenues helpful, (3) what difficulties the teachers have encountered when participating in these models for their professional development, and (4) how the government, other educational communities, and school authorities can support teacher professional development. It is hoped that this study will provide the basis for understanding a much needed practical model of continuous professional development for ongoing English education reform in Taiwan.
Key Words: EFL teacher education, teacher professional development, professional development avenue