The effect of CAR on English language teachers’ beliefs about action research


  • Ayele Legesse Addis Ababa University
  • Tamene Kitila Addis Ababa University, Department of Foreign Language



action research, collaborative action research, teachers’ beliefs


This study examined the effect of collaborative action research (CAR) on secondary school English language teachers' beliefs about and perceived competency in conducting action research. A quasi-experimental design with pre- and post-test measures within a single group was employed. The intervention involved a one-day training workshop followed by 15 months of active CAR engagement. Data were collected via questionnaires from 37 English language teachers (21 in the experimental group and 16 in the control group) at two secondary schools in Mettu town, Ethiopia. The results revealed a positive transformative effect of CAR on teachers’ beliefs about action research. Their perceived competency in conducting action research as part of their teaching duties also improved significantly. These findings suggest that CAR empowers teachers to become self-directed, collaborative problem solvers within their classrooms rather than passively waiting for external solutions. However, the study’s limitations, including its single-group design and focus on two schools, necessitate further research. Future studies, particularly in-depth qualitative investigations, are recommended to explore the practical changes in teaching practices driven by CAR and to diversify the subject group and research methods for broader insights.


Abebe, A., & Desta, A. (2023). Action research as a tool for improving English language teachers' teaching practices in Ethiopian secondary schools. English Language Teaching Journal, 77(1), 1-13.

Aslam, M. S., & Khan, H. A. (2022). The role of culture, upbringing, and personal experiences in shaping teachers’ beliefs about language teaching and learning. Journal of Language, Teaching and Research, 13(1), 34-48. https://doi.10.17507/jltr.1301.04

Bailey, K. M. (1992). The processes of innovation in language teacher development: What, why and how teachers change. In J. Flowerdew, M. Brock, & S. Hsia (Eds.), Perspectives on Second Language Teacher Education (pp. 253-282). Hong Kong: City Polytechnic of Hong Kong.

Banegas, D. (2012). Teacher professional development through collaborative action research: Impact on foreign English language teaching and learning. Educational Action Research, 21(2), 185-201. https://doi.10.1080/09650792.2012.662312

Bryan, B. (2012). Teacher beliefs in action: A practical guide to developing effective teaching. Routledge

Burns, A. (2005). Action research: An evolving paradigm? Language Teaching, 38(2), 57–74.

Burns, A. (2010). Doing Action Research in English Language Teaching: A Guide for Practitioners. New York/London: Routledge

Cochran-Smith, M., & Lytle, C. (1993). Inside/outside: Teacher research and knowledge. New York/London: Teachers College Press

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2005). Research methods in education (5th ed.). London: Routledge

Cohen-Cole, M. (2022). The shifting sands of belief: Towards a more nuanced understanding of belief change. In S. D. O’Brien & J. A. Sloman (Eds.), Beliefs: Perspectives on theory and research (pp. 21-42). London: Oxford University Press.

Creswell, J. W. (2008). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (3rd ed.). Boston: Pearson Merrill/Prentice Hall

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.). Boston: Pearson Inc

Darling-Hammond, L. (2006). Constructing 21st-century teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 57(3), 300-314.

Darling-Hammond, L., Annenberg Institute for School Reform, & Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. (2009). Developing a professional system for teaching and learning: A design guide. John Wiley & Sons.

Desta, A. (2018). Challenges and opportunities of action research in Ethiopian primary schools. International Journal of Research in Education and Science (IJRES), 4(1), 127-138.

Elliot, J. (1991). Action Research for Educational Change. Open University Press. Philadelphia: Routledge

Field, A. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Fullan, M., & Hargreaves, A. (2018). Professional capital: A systemic approach to teacher collaboration and school improvement. Journal of Educational Change, 19(1), 1-20. doi: https://10.1186/s11869-017-0725-2

Glogovits, I. (2002). Action research on teacher education: Learning through the Loop. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 15(4), 405-42.

Guskey, T. R. (2002). Evaluating professional development. Corwin Press. ISBN-13: 978-0761946965

Hoque, E. (2016). Three domains of learning: Cognitive, affective, and psychomotor. Journal of EFL Education and Research (JEFLER), 2(2)

Jabessa, F. (2015). Action research practices of English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers at two Ethiopian public universities. Ethiopian Journal of Education Sciences, 10(2), 113-131.

Kemmis, S., & McTaggart, R. (2005). Participatory action research: Living the change. Sage Publications.

Kemmis, S., & McTaggart, R. (1988). The action research planner. Geelong, Australia: Deakin University Press.

Khan, N. (2020). Teachers’ beliefs and practices: A critical review of the literature. Educational Research and Reviews, 15(1), 1-14.

Korthagen, F.A.J., Kessels, J., Koster, B., Lagerwerf, B., & Wubbels, T. (2001). Linking practice and theory: The pedagogy of realistic teacher education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

Kothari, C.R. (2004). Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques. New Delhi: New Age International Publisher

Kumar, C. P. (2013). The eclectic method: Theory and its application to the learning of English. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 3(6), 1-4.

Kutlay, A. (2012). Why do teachers not do research? The case of English language teachers in Turkey. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28(8), 1040-1047.

Lakkala, S., Galkiene, A., Navaitiene, J., Cierpiałowska, T., Tomecek, S., Uusiautti, S. T. (2021). Teachers supporting students in collaborative ways—an analysis of collaborative work creating supportive learning environments for every student in a school: Cases from Austria, Finland, Lithuania, and Poland. Sustainability. 13(5), 2804;

Littleton, H., & Belikov, O. (2019). Improving student engagement in science through action research. Journal of Educational Action Research, 12(3), 245-260. https://doi.10.1080/0965079X.2019.1688222

McNiff, J., & Whitehead, J. (2001). Understanding action research. Routledge. ISBN 978-0750708732

McNiff, J., & Whitehead, J. (2012). Action research for teachers: A practical guide (2nd ed.). Routledge.

Mills, G., & O’Toole, J. (2009). Building critical reflection through collaborative action research: A case study of teachers of English as a second language. TESL Canada Journal, 26(2), 3-18.

MoCS (Ministry of Civil Service). (2012). Teachers' Career Structure Policy. Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Nunan, D. (1992). Action research in the language classroom. Language Teaching, 25(1), 3-22.


Ponte, P., & Chapman, A. (2014). Action research for English language teachers: A guide for reflective teaching. Cambridge University Press.

Prihadi, D. N. (2022). Exploring EFL teachers’ beliefs and practices in teaching speaking. CELTIC Journal of Culture, English Language Teaching, Literature, and Linguistics, 9(2), 101-118. https://doi.10.24167/celtic. v9i2.3111

Rahmah, N., & Hartono, H. (2023). English language teachers’ beliefs and their teaching practices: A case study of Indonesian secondary schools. Celt: Journal of English Language Teaching and Linguistics, 7(3), 1-21. https://doi.10.24167/celt.v7i3.2924

Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. S. (2001). Approaches and methods in language teaching (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. S. (2014). Approaches and methods in language teaching (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Richards, J. C., & Farrell, T. S. C. (2005). Professional development for language teachers: Strategies for teacher learning. Cambridge University Press. https://doi. 10.1093/elt/ccl014

Richardson, V. (2017). The importance of teacher beliefs. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 22(4), 403-418.

Rukiya, H. (2016). Female teachers’ professional development through action research practice. Journal of Education and Practice, 7(22).

Skerritt, O. Z. (1996). New directions in action research. Falmer.

Syafii, M. L. (2021). Challenges and opportunities of action research in English language teaching. Celt: Journal of Culture, English Language Teaching, Literature, and Linguistics, 8(1), 1-10.

Tadesse, F., & Firdissa, J. (2022). The impact of action research on English language teachers’ professional development in Ethiopian public universities. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, 28(1), 1-17. https://doi.10.2478/jtes.

Tanjung, P. A., & Ashadi. (2019). Differentiated instruction in accommodating individual differences of EFL students. Celtic: A Journal of Culture, English Language Teaching, Literature and Linguistics, 6(2), 246-25.

Tomal, D. R. (2003). Action Research for Educators. Lanham/Maryland/Oxforf: Scarecrow Press Inc.

Whitehead, J. (2022). Action research in education: Making a difference in practice. London: Bloomsbury Publishing

Woodland, R., Lee, M. K., & Randall, J. (2013). A validation study of the teacher collaboration assessment survey. Education Research and Evaluation: An International Journal on Theory and Practice, 19(5), 442-460.

Woolhouse, M. (2005). ‘You can’t do it on your own: Gardening as an analogy for personal learning from a collaborative action research group’. Educational Action Research, 13(1), 27–41.

Yin, R. K. (2023). Case study research and design (7th ed.). London/New Delhi: Sage Publications

Zhao, K., Chen, X., & Whalen, S. (2023). The role of beliefs and self-efficacy in predicting learning strategy use. Learning and Individual Differences, 108, 103895.

Descriptive analysis of data on teachers' belief about AR




How to Cite

Legesse, A., & Kitila, T. (2024). The effect of CAR on English language teachers’ beliefs about action research. Journal of Research on English and Language Learning (J-REaLL), 5(1), 55–74.