English teachers’ attitudes towards learners: Effects on the rural pedagogies in Bangladesh

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This research explores English language teachers' attitudes towards the socioeconomically diverse EFL learners affecting their academic practices in rural Bangladesh. The study attempts to better understand the elementary and high school teachers' perceptions about the underprivileged EFL students' language needs, skills, and aptitudes in a diverse context. Data on the teachers' views about rural language learners were obtained from interviewing five English language teachers working in remote villages. An original questionnaire comprising five demography and ten open-ended questions was used to elicit in-depth data about the rationales of teachers' beliefs and practices using semi-structured online interviews. Results show these teachers hold positive attitudes towards rural English language learners, which are powerful predictors of their pedagogical choices and actions. However, their beliefs and perceptions do not consistently materialize in practice. The major challenges include stakeholders' insincerity, teacher understaffing, inadequate technology and resources, and teachers' additional duties that affect ELL support. Need-based strategic planning is required to prepare the teachers considering the economically disadvantaged learners' particular language and instructional needs. Hence, the conclusion calls for rethinking the local teacher preparation programs raising teachers’ positive beliefs and realistic ideologies toward diverse students.

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