Computer literacy of Iranian teachers of English as a foreign language: Challenges and obstacles

Basically, one of the requirements for the implementation of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) is English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers’ ability to use computers effectively. Educational authorities and planners should identify EFL teachers’ computer literacy levels and make attempts to improve the teachers’ computer competence. This mixed-methods study set out to uncover perceptions of 263 Iranian EFL teachers on their computer literacy levels. A computer literacy questionnaire and a general computer literacy test were administered to the participants. Follow-up in-depth interviews were further conducted with 24 EFL teachers who had also participated in the survey. The results of the study illustrated that the participants’ levels of computer literacy were not adequate for the implementation of CALL. Statistical analyses of the results demonstrated that the EFL teachers did not make use of a wide range of computer applications. The qualitative and quantitative data demonstrated that there are several factors which would impede the improvement of EFL teachers’ computer literacy. These main impeding factors include lack of computer literacy training in teacher education programs, lack of support from EFL authorities to improve EFL teachers’ computer literacy and lack of time to improve teachers’ computer literacy. In addition, it was shown that the EFL teachers adopted positive attitudes toward improving their computer literacy. This article proposes suggestions and recommendations for EFL authorities on how to prepare and educate EFL teachers to use technology in their teaching for the implementation of CALL.

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