Factors Influencing Teachers’ Cognitions and Practices Underpinning Listening Instruction in Iranian Private English Language Institutes

Document Type : Original Article


University of Auckland, New Zealand


Exploration of second language teacher cognition in general and factors influencing it in particular has attracted the attention of many researchers over the last four decades.  The study presented here explored potential factors that influenced teachers’ cognitions and practices with regard to listening instruction and the development of this skill among learners in the thus far under-researched context of Iran. An exploratory and interpretive approach was adopted. Data were collected over a four-month period in private English Language institutes in Iran. Eight teachers’ classes were observed 64 times, followed by 32 stimulated-recall interviews. Findings indicated that contextual factors, followed by learner variables and teachers’ teaching experiences, were the most influential elements in shaping teacher cognitions and listening classroom practices. Teacher education was ranked as the least influential factor.  There are some implications for strengthening the development of listening skills. These include the importance of experienced teachers’ cognitions in improving teacher education and professional development courses, and being more consciously aware of the exacerbating effects of some contextual factors on listening instruction.