Students’ Perceptions of Effective EFL Teachers in University Settings in Cyprus

  •  Stella Kourieos    
  •  Dimitris Evripidou    


This study sought to identify what characteristics and teaching behaviours describe effective EFL University teachers as perceived by Cypriot students. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire and focus group interviews. Findings have provided evidence that effective language teaching seems to be related to a more learner-centred approach to language learning and teaching, which, in turn, assumes a more assisting, mediating role for the language teacher. According to the participants of this study, an effective EFL teacher is no longer considered one who has a directive and authoritarian role in the learning process but one who takes into consideration his/her students’ individual differences, language anxiety, abilities and interests and design learning environments accordingly. Language teachers’ skills in using technology and engaging students in meaningful classroom interactions by involving them in group tasks designed around real life topics and authentic language use have also been emphasised. Participants’ views call for EFL teachers in university settings to move beyond the traditional focus-on-form approach to language teaching which views language learning as an individual activity, to the adoption of the communicative approach to language teaching which acknowledges the social aspect of learning and as such, it depends upon meaningful interactions with peers. EFL teachers working in tertiary education should use these findings as a yardstick to better understand themselves and the needs of their students for the enhancement of the learning process.

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