Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2589-2053
  • E-ISSN: 2589-207x



Although the teaching of English to primary school children has been rapidly growing in many English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) countries around the world, a shortage of specialist teachers remains a persistent challenge. Consequently, non-specialists, such as homeroom teachers initially trained as generalists, are more often required to teach English. The present study, focusing on 304 non-specialist teachers serving in Japan’s public primary schools, was designed to explore their perceived self-efficacy for teaching English, and to examine the impact of teacher characteristics (i.e., their perceived English proficiency, English-teaching experience, and appraisals of collaboration with native English-speaking teachers) on their level of self-efficacy. A multiple regression analysis revealed that the collaboration variable was more influential than the proficiency variable and that there was no significant relationship between teachers’ self-efficacy and teaching experience. Moreover, integration of these results and teachers’ comments in the open-ended question suggested that they functioned most effectively in student engagement by playing roles unique to non-specialist teachers and that they perceived team teaching to be more beneficial in classroom management than solo teaching. Implications for in-service training are discussed to support non-specialist teachers in primary English education.

Available under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license.

Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Bandura, A.
    (1997) Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W. H. Freeman and Company.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Braun, V., & Clarke, V.
    (2006) Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 77–101. 10.1191/1478088706qp063oa
    https://doi.org/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa [Google Scholar]
  3. Butler, Y. G.
    (2004) What level of English proficiency do elementary school teachers need to attain to teach EFL? Case studies from Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. TESOL Quarterly, 38(2), 245–278. 10.2307/3588380
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3588380 [Google Scholar]
  4. Carless, D.
    (2006) Good practices in team teaching in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. System, 34(3), 341–351. 10.1016/j.system.2006.02.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2006.02.001 [Google Scholar]
  5. Carless, D., & Walker, E.
    (2006) Effective team teaching between local and native-speaking English teachers. Language and Education, 20(6), 463–477. 10.2167/le627.0
    https://doi.org/10.2167/le627.0 [Google Scholar]
  6. Chacón, C. T.
    (2005) Teachers’ perceived efficacy among English-as-a-foreign-language teachers in middle schools in Venezuela. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21(3), 257–272. 10.1016/j.tate.2005.01.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2005.01.001 [Google Scholar]
  7. Chestnut, S. R., & Burley, H.
    (2015) Self-efficacy as a predictor of commitment to the teaching profession: A meta-analysis. Educational Research Review, 15(1), 1–16. 10.1016/j.edurev.2015.02.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2015.02.001 [Google Scholar]
  8. Choi, E., & Lee, J.
    (2016) Investigating the relationship of target language proficiency and self-efficacy among nonnative EFL teachers. System, 58, 49–63. 10.1016/j.system.2016.02.010
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2016.02.010 [Google Scholar]
  9. Cohen, J. & Cohen, P.
    (1983) Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Copland, F., & Garton, S.
    (2014) Key themes and future directions in teaching English to young learners: Introduction to the special issue. ELT Journal, 68(3), 223–230. 10.1093/elt/ccu030
    https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccu030 [Google Scholar]
  11. Council of Europe
    Council of Europe (2001) Common European framework of reference for languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Crook, C. C.
    (2016) The predictive relationship between specific teacher characteristics and the perceived sense of teacher self-efficacy of non-native English-speaking teachers of English as a foreign language in rural Thailand. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA, USA.
  13. Curran, P. J., West, S. G., & Finch, J. F.
    (1996) The robustness of test statistics to nonnormality and specification error in confirmatory factor analysis. Psychological Methods, 1(1), 16–29. 10.1037/1082‑989X.1.1.16
    https://doi.org/10.1037/1082-989X.1.1.16 [Google Scholar]
  14. Dörnyei, Z.
    (2001) Motivational strategies in the language classroom. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511667343
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511667343 [Google Scholar]
  15. Dörnyei, Z., & Ushioda, E.
    (2011) Teaching and researching motivation (2nd ed.). Pearson Education.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Enever, J.
    (2014) Primary English teacher education in Europe. ELT Journal, 68(3), 231–242. 10.1093/elt/cct079
    https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/cct079 [Google Scholar]
  17. Eslami, Z. R., & Fatahi, A.
    (2008) Teachers’ sense of self-efficacy, English proficiency, and instructional strategies: A study of non-native EFL teachers in Iran. TESL-EJ, 11(4), 1–19.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. European Commission
    European Commission (2017) Key data on teaching languages at school in Europe 2017 edition. Accessed on1 July 2000athttps://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/eurydice/content/key-data-teaching-languages-school-europe-2017-edition_en
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Faez, F., Karas, M., & Uchihara, T.
    (2019) Connecting language proficiency to teaching ability: A meta-analysis. Language Teaching Research, 23(1), 1–24. 10.1177/1362168819868667
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168819868667 [Google Scholar]
  20. Freeman, D.
    (2017) The case for teachers’ classroom English proficiency. RELC Journal, 48(1), 31–52. 10.1177/0033688217691073
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0033688217691073 [Google Scholar]
  21. Hiratsuka, T.
    (2015) Teachers’ and students’ perceptions of team-teaching practices in two Japanese high schools. Accents Asia, 7(2), 46–66.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Hoang, T., & Wyatt, M.
    (2021) Exploring the self-efficacy beliefs of Vietnamese pre-service teachers of English as a foreign language. System, 96, article 102422. 10.1016/j.system.2020.102422
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2020.102422 [Google Scholar]
  23. Johnson, R. L., & Morgan, G. B.
    (2016) Survey scales: A guide to development, analysis, and reporting. Guilford Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Karas, M., & Faez, F.
    (2021) Self-efficacy of English language teachers in Ontario: The impact of language proficiency, teaching qualifications, linguistic identity, and teaching experience. The Canadian Modern Language Review,   10.3138/cmlr‑2020‑0012
    https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr-2020-0012 [Google Scholar]
  25. Katsuyama, H., Nishigaki, C., & Wang, J.
    (2008) The Effectiveness of English teaching in Japanese elementary schools: Measured by proficiency tests administered to seventh-year students. RELC Journal, 39(3), 359–380. 10.1177/0033688208096846
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0033688208096846 [Google Scholar]
  26. Klassen, R. M. & Chiu, M. M.
    (2010) Effects on teachers’ self-efficacy and job satisfaction: Teacher gender, years of experience, and job stress. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(3), 741–756. 10.1037/a0019237
    https://doi.org/10.1037/a0019237 [Google Scholar]
  27. Klassen, R. M., & Tze, V. M. C.
    (2014) Teachers’ self-efficacy, personality, and teaching effectiveness: A meta-analysis. Educational Research Review, 12, 59–76. 10.1016/j.edurev.2014.06.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2014.06.001 [Google Scholar]
  28. Kourieos, S., & Diakou, M.
    (2019) Pre-service English language teacher education and the first years of teaching: Perspectives from Cyprus. The New Educator, 15(3), 208–225. 10.1080/1547688X.2019.1628558
    https://doi.org/10.1080/1547688X.2019.1628558 [Google Scholar]
  29. Liaw, E. C.
    (2009) Teacher efficacy of pre-service teachers in Taiwan: The influence of classroom teaching and group discussion. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25(1), 176–180. 10.1016/j.tate.2008.08.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2008.08.005 [Google Scholar]
  30. MEXT [The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan]
    MEXT [The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan] (2017) The 2017 elementary school Course of Study. Kairyudo.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. MEXT
    MEXT (2019) The score conversion table for the CEFR. Accessed on1 May 2019 at https://www.mext.go.jp/b_menu/houdou/30/03/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2019/01/15/1402610_1.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  32. MEXT
    MEXT (2020) The results of a survey on implementation of English language teaching in elementary schools. Accessed on1July 2020 athttps://www.mext.go.jp/a_menu/kokusai/gaikokugo/1415042.htm
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Moradkhani, S., Raygan, A., & Moein, M. S.
    (2017) Iranian EFL teachers’ reflective practices and self-efficacy: Exploring possible relationships. System, 65, 1–14. 10.1016/j.system.2016.12.011
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2016.12.011 [Google Scholar]
  34. Morris, D. B., Usher, E. L., & Chen, J. A.
    (2017) Reconceptualizing the sources of teaching self-efficacy: A critical review of emerging literature. Educational Psychology Review, 29(4), 795–833. 10.1007/s10648‑016‑9378‑y
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-016-9378-y [Google Scholar]
  35. Nagamine, T.
    (2018) The role of emotions in reflective teaching in second language classrooms: Felt sense, emotionality, and practical knowledge acquisition. InJ. Martínez Agudo. (Ed.), Emotions in Second Language Teaching: Theory, research and teacher education (pp.145–163). Springer. 10.1007/978‑3‑319‑75438‑3_9
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-75438-3_9 [Google Scholar]
  36. Negishi, M.
    (2012) The development of CEFR-J: Where we are, where we are going. Accessed on1July 2019 atwww.tufs.ac.jp/common/fs/ilr/EU_kaken/_userdata/negishi2.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  37. OECD [The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development]
    OECD [The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] (2019) TALIS 2018 results (Volume I): Teachers and school leaders as lifelong learners. OECD Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Reeves, P. M., Pun, W. H., & Chung, K. S.
    (2017) Influence of teacher collaboration on job satisfaction and student achievement. Teaching and Teacher Education, 67, 227–236. 10.1016/j.tate.2017.06.016
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2017.06.016 [Google Scholar]
  39. Rixon, S.
    (2013) British Council survey of policy and practice in primary English language teaching worldwide. British Council.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Sabokrouh, F.
    (2014) The effect of EFL teachers’ attitude toward English language and English language proficiency on their sense of efficacy. English Language Teaching, 7(1), 66–74.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Shim, J. W.
    (2001) The teacher efficacy beliefs of Korean teachers of English as a foreign language (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.
  42. Spolsky, B., & Moon, Y-in
    (Eds.) (2012) Primary school English-language education in Asia: From policy to practice. Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Swanson, P.
    (2012) Second/foreign language teacher efficacy and its relationship to professional attrition. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 68(1), 78–101. 10.3138/cmlr.68.1.078
    https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.68.1.078 [Google Scholar]
  44. Thompson, G.
    (2020) Exploring language teacher efficacy in Japan. Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Tono, Y.
    (2013) The CEFR-J handbook: A resource book for using CAN-DO descriptors for English language teaching. Taishukan.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Tschannen-Moran, M., & Johnson, D.
    (2011) Exploring literacy teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs: Potential sources at play. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(4), 751–761. 10.1016/j.tate.2010.12.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2010.12.005 [Google Scholar]
  47. Tschannen-Moran, M., & Woolfolk Hoy, A.
    (2001) Teacher efficacy: Capturing an elusive construct. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17(7), 783–805. 10.1016/S0742‑051X(01)00036‑1
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-051X(01)00036-1 [Google Scholar]
  48. (2007) The differential antecedents of self-efficacy beliefs of novice and experienced teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 23(6), 944–956. 10.1016/j.tate.2006.05.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2006.05.003 [Google Scholar]
  49. Tschannen-Moran, M., Woolfolk Hoy, A., & Hoy, W. K.
    (1998) Teacher efficacy: Its meaning and measure. Review of Educational Research, 68(2), 202–248. 10.3102/00346543068002202
    https://doi.org/10.3102/00346543068002202 [Google Scholar]
  50. Vangrieken, K., Grosemans, I., Dochy, F., & Kyndt, E.
    (2017) Teacher autonomy and collaboration: A paradox? Conceptualizing and measuring teachers’ autonomy and collaborative attitude. Teaching and Teacher Education, 67, 302–315. 10.1016/j.tate.2017.06.021
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2017.06.021 [Google Scholar]
  51. Wyatt, M.
    (2018) Language teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs: A review of the literature (2005–2016). Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 43(4), 92–120. 10.14221/ajte.2018v43n4.6
    https://doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2018v43n4.6 [Google Scholar]
  52. Yanase, C.
    (2016) From an assistant to a team member: A perspective from a Japanese ALT in primary schools in Japan. InF. Copland, S. Garton, & S. Mann (Eds.), LETs and NESTs: Voices, views and vignettes (pp.195–210). British Council.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Yilmaz, C.
    (2011) Teachers’ perceptions of self-efficacy, English proficiency, and instructional strategies. Social Behavior and Personality, 39(1), 91–100. 10.2224/sbp.2011.39.1.91
    https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2011.39.1.91 [Google Scholar]
  54. Zein, S.
    (2016) Pre-service education for primary school English teachers in Indonesia: Policy implications. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 36(1), 119–134. 10.1080/02188791.2014.961899
    https://doi.org/10.1080/02188791.2014.961899 [Google Scholar]
  55. Zonoubi, R., Rasekh, A. E., & Tavakoli, M.
    (2017) EFL teacher self-efficacy development in professional learning communities. System, 66, 1–12. 10.1016/j.system.2017.03.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2017.03.003 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error