The College of Education announces the final Dissertation of
for the degree of Doctor of Education
February 22, 2018 at 2:00 pm / Virtual Defense
Major Advisor: Clif Mims, PhD
Tennessee ESL Teachers’ Self-Efficacy: A Predictive Correlational Study
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this quantitative, predictive correlational study was to examine variables that are correlated with Tennessee K-12 English as a second language teachers’ self-efficacy. With the changes stipulated by the Every Student Succeeds Act recently approved by the Tennessee Department of Education, there is a need to examine possible factors associated with ESL teachers’ self-efficacy because teacher self-efficacy has been linked to teacher effectiveness and, in turn, student learning. Using social cognitive theory as a framework, predictor variables were identified and included route to licensure, practicum hours, presence of mentor, years of teaching experience prior to ESL, years of experience of ESL teaching, and number of ESL teachers at participants’ schools. A self-report survey including the validated Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale was sent to the participants using the Tennessee Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages membership listserv. The data collected from the convenience sample was analyzed using standard multiple regression. The six predictor variables were found not to be predictive of Tennessee ESL teachers’ self-efficacy and the overall standard multiple regression indicated negligible predictive value. The conclusion drawn from this study is that Tennessee, and perhaps other ESL teachers in the United States, are a unique population of teachers who have other factors specific to their field of teaching that can be predictive of their self-efficacy. Among the possibilities for future research, the author especially recommends the investigation of American ESL teachers’ self-efficacy through qualitative methods so data can be collected to identify possible self-efficacy factors directly from the population.