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Arab World English Journal ( February 2013 )                                                                     Theses / Dissertation 

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Name of the researcher:Salim Ali Khalfan Al-Khayari
Title of the thesis: The Impact of Teacher Development Groups on Omani EFL Teachers'Classroom Practice
Subject/major: Curriculum and Instruction, Curriculum and Methodology of English Language Teaching
University/department: Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, Sultan Qaboos University, Sultanate of Oman

Year of award: 2011

Abstract:

Teacher professional development (PD) has been receiving increasing attention fromall concerned. This development has largely been targeted by what is calledtraditional professional development structures, such as workshops and seminars.Such structures seem to have little effect on teachers' classroom practice. Teachergroups are seen as an alternative effective structure for teacher professionaldevelopment. This study focuses on a group of five Omani EFL teachers (calledTeacher Development Group, TDG) who came together once every week for a wholesemester. The study aims at investigating the impact of that group on the teachers'classroom practice as well as their perceptions of their experiences as members in thegroup. It also aims at finding out the difficulties that the teachers might face duringthe process of the group. The TDG focused on teaching phonics as a solution toremedy students' reading difficulties. The data was collected through observation ofphonics sessions, teachers' journals, interviews with the teachers and the researcher'sfield notes. The findings reveal that there was some impact of the TDG on the practiceof the teachers involved. The TDG members perceived the TDG as a greatopportunity to share ideas and experiences with each other. They found the group asbeneficial and gained a lot from it. They also realized the importance of cooperativework to achieve shared goals. They valued each other for their helpfulness,cooperativeness and support. As TDG members, the teachers seemed to face verylittle difficulties.

Keywords: professional development, teacher development group