Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Marilyn E. Draheim

First Committee Member

Justin Low

Second Committee Member

Qingwen Dong


Research on self-efficacy has been a productive field and abundant research has shown that teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs influence teachers’ actions and performances and thus affect students’ learning outcomes. However, there is a lack of literature on EFL teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and even less research was set in Chinese EFL contexts. On the one hand, this study was conducted to provide a general picture of the current status of EFL teachers’ perceived English proficiency, self-rated self-efficacy beliefs and self-reported teaching practices in terms of some demographic perspectives; On the other hand, it aimed to explore the correlations among Chinese primary EFL teachers’ perceived English proficiency, self-efficacy beliefs and teaching practices.

The quantitative study surveyed 217 in-service primary EFL teachers. The descriptive results showed that: (1) EFL teachers varied in perceived English proficiency in terms of age, years of teaching experience and college major; (2) age and teaching experience did while college major didn’t make a difference for EFL teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs; (3) the surveyed EFL teachers, in general, had a greater preference to communication-oriented language teaching (COLT) than form-oriented language teaching (FOLT). The results from the correlational statistics showed that: (1) perceived English proficiency (PEP), on the whole, had a significant predictive effect on self-efficacy beliefs (SEB). It was striking that among the four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) of English language, speaking had the most significant predictive effect on self-efficacy beliefs; (2) EFL teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs (SEB) had a predictive effect on COLT practices whereas not on FOLT practices; (3) The mediation model of showing the causal impacts of PEP (through SEB) on COLT was tested. i.e. Chinese primary EFL teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs played a complete mediating role between perceived English proficiency and communication-oriented language teaching.

The findings of the present study added on the compelling evidence that self-efficacy beliefs matter in the realm of primary EFL teaching in China. In light of these findings, implications were generated to primary EFL teacher education and in-service EFL teacher training programs, such as courses related to improving English proficiency, especially speaking skills, should be offered for non-English major EFL teachers; training courses related to improving self-efficacy beliefs, especially on classroom management strategies, and the recommended communicative-oriented language teaching practices should be offered to pre-service and inexperienced in-service EFL teachers.





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