Welcome to Francis Academic Press

Frontiers in Educational Research, 2022, 5(12); doi: 10.25236/FER.2022.051205.

An Exploration of Nonnative English Speaking (NNES) EFL Teachers’ Perceived Language Proficiency and Self-efficacy in an off-Campus English Language Training Institutionin in Xiamen


Fan Deng

Corresponding Author:
Fan Deng

School of the English Language and Culture, Ximen University Tan Kah Kee College, Xiamen, Fujian, China


In the realm of education, teachers’ perceptions or beliefs have been one of the main topics that researchers have focused on over the past four decades (Ghasemboland & Hashim, 2013). For nonnative English speaking teachers, level of English proficiency is often a matter of concern and it has close relationship with their beliefs about teaching abilities, which is known as self-efficacy (Faez, Karas & Uchihara, 2021). This study aims to explore the nonnative English speaking (NNES) EFL teachers’ perceived English proficiency and its impact on their self-efficacy of teaching in an off-campus English training institution in Xiamen, a sub-provincial city in southeastern Fujian, China. The institution has an English only policy for both teachers and students to use English at all times, in order to create an English immersion environment for students. Teachers’ special needs for language training were also interviwed as well. Semi-structured face-to-face individual interview is the only method implemented in this study, in which the interview questions were designed drawing on prior research and the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES; Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001). The results showed that the teachers’s self-efficacy was positively correlated with their self-perceived English proficiency, which concurs with the previous studies, and that teachers haves strong needs for development in language profiency to improve their slef-efficacy of teaching.


nonnative English speaking (NNES) EFL teachers, self-efficacy, perceived language proficiency, off-campus English language training institution

Cite This Paper

Fan Deng. An Exploration of Nonnative English Speaking (NNES) EFL Teachers’ Perceived Language Proficiency and Self-efficacy in an off-Campus English Language Training Institutionin in Xiamen. Frontiers in Educational Research (2022) Vol. 5, Issue 12: 22-30. https://doi.org/10.25236/FER.2022.051205.


[1] Bachman, L. F. 1990. Fundamental consideration in language testing. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. 

[2] Barni, D., Danioni, F., & Benevene, P. (2019). Teachers' Self-Efficacy: The Role of Personal Values and Motivations for Teaching. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 1645. 

[3] Birbirso, D.T. (2014). Crises in EFL proficiency and teacher development in the context of international donation and transformation discourses. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 39(2), 1-20.

[4] Butler, Y.G. (2004). What level of English proficiency do primary school teachers need to attain to teach EFL? Case studies from Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. TESOL Quarterly, 38 (2), 245–278. doi:10.2307/3588380.

[5] Chacón, C. T. (2002). Teachers’ sense of efficacy and selected characteristics of selected English as a foreign language Venezuelan middle school teachers. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

[6] Chomsky, N. (1965). Aspects of the theory of syntax. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

[7] Cullen, R. (1994). Incorporating a language improvement component in teacher training programmes. ELT Journal, 48(2): 162-172.

[8] Cullen, R. 2002. The use of lesson transcripts for developing teachers’ classroom language. In: Trappes-Lomax, H. and Ferguson, G. (ed.) Language in Language Teacher Education Amsterdam John Benjamins Publishing.

[9] Duffin, L. C., French, B. F., & Patrick, H. (2012). The Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale: Confirming the factor structure with beginning pre-service teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 28(6), 827-834.

[10] Elder C & Kim S.H.O. (2014) Assessing teachers’ language proficiency. In: Kunnan AJ (ed.) The Companion to Language Assessment, Chichester: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

[11] Eslami, Z.R., & Fatahi, A. (2008). Teachers' Sense of Self-Efficacy, English Proficiency, and Instructional Strategies: A Study of Nonnative EFL Teachers in Iran. TESL-EJ, 11(4), EJ, 2008, Vol.11(4).

[12] Faez, F., Karas, M., & Uchihara, T. (2021). Connecting language proficiency to teaching ability: A meta-analysis. Language Teaching Research, 25(5), 754–777. https://doi.org/ 10.1177/ 136216 8819 868667

[13] Farrell TSC, Richards JC. (2007) Teachers’ language proficiency. In: Farrell TSC (ed.) Reflective Language Teaching: From Research to Practice. London, New York: Continuum, 55–66. 

[14] Freeman, D., Katz, A., Gomez, P. G., & Burns, A. (2015). English-for-teaching: Rethinking teacher proficiency in the classroom. ELT Journal, 69(2), 129-139.

[15] Ghasemboland, F. & Hashim, F.B. (2013). Teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and their English language proficiency: A study of Nonnative EFL Teachers in selected language centers. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 103(C), 890-899.

[16] Kerlinger, F.N. (1970). Foundation of behavioural research. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 

[17] Krashen, S. & Terrell, T. (1996). The Natural Approach Language Acquisition in the Classroom. Bloodaxe Books Ltd.p1. ISBN 9780-031099345

[18] Lado, R. (1961). Language testing: The construction and use of foreign language tests. New York: Longman.

[19] Lange, D. (1990) A blueprint for a teacher development programme. In J. C. Richards and D. Nunan (Eds.) Second language teacher education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 245-268. 

[20] Lee, J. (2009). Teachers' sense of efficacy in teaching English, perceived English language proficiency, and attitudes toward the English language: A case of Korean public elementary school teachers.

[21] Li, C. Y. (2003). A study of in-service teachers’ beliefs, difficulties and problems in current teacher development programs. HKBU Papers in Applied Language Studies 7, 64– 85.

[22] Littlewood, W. (2007). Communicative and task-Based language teaching in east Asian classrooms. Language Teaching: The International Research Resource for Language Professionals, 40(3), 243-49.

[23] Muhammad, S. (2017). Student-teachers' beliefs on the use of L1 in EFL Classroom: A global perspective. English Language Teaching, 10(4), 45-52.

[24] Murdoch, G. (1994) Language development in teacher training curricula. ELT Journal, 48, 253–59.

[25]Nederhof, A. J. (1985). Methods of coping with social desirability bias: A review. European Journal of Social Psychology, 15(3), 263-280.

[26] Niu, Qiang & Wolff, Martin. (2003). China and Chinese, or Chingland and Chinglish? English Today, 19(2), 9–11.

[27] Rao, Z. H. (1996). Reconciling communicative approaches to the teaching of English with traditional Chinese methods. Research in the Teaching of English 30.4, 458–471.

[28] Richards J.C, Farrell T.S.C. (2011) Practice Teaching: A Reflective Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[29] Shim, J.W. (2001). The efficacy beliefs of Korean teachers of English as a foreign language. unpublished doctoral dissertation. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

[30] Shin, S. 2008. Preparing non-native English speaking ESL teachers. Teacher Development 12, no. 1: 57-65. doi:10.1080/13664530701827749

[31] Tuckman, B.W. (1972). Conducting educational research. Wadsworth Publishing. Belmont, California.

[32] Tsui, S.B.M. 2003. Understanding expertise in teaching. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

[33] Tang, T., & McGill University. (2007). Investigating NNS English teachers' self-assessed language proficiency in an EFL context [electronic resource].

[34] Tschannen-Moran, M., & Woolfolk Hoy, A. (2001). Teacher efficacy: capturing an elusive construct. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17, 783-805.

[35] Wall, U. (2008). A needs assessment interview: The professional development needs of non-native speaking EFL teachers in Thailand. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 2(1), 47-64.