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EXPLORING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ENGLISH TEACHERS’ EFFECTIVENESS AND THEIR PERSONALITY

VIEWS: 31 PAGES: 11

By administering the validated Persian version of Characteristics of Effective English Language Teachers (CEELT) and the NEO Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) to 1260 learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) and one hundred eighteen EFL teachers in Iran, this study explored whether there was any significant relationships between factors underlying the CEELT and teachers’ personality. It was found that among the five factors underlying the CEELT, four factors, i.e., Rapport, Fairness, Qualification and Facilitation correlated significantly with the four dimensions of teachers’ personality, i.e., Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Neuroticism, and Openness. As the fifth factor underlying effective EFL teaching, Examination, however, correlated significantly but negatively with Extraversion. It did, nonetheless, reveal positive and significant relationship with Neuroticism, and Openness. The implications of the findings such as the close relationship between Qualification and Conscientiousness and their relevance to Facilitation are discussed and suggestions are made for future research. KEYWORDS: English as a foreign language, personality, learners, teacher effectiveness

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									              Continental J. Education Research 5 (1):1 - 11, 2012                           ISSN: 2141 - 4181
              © Wilolud Journals, 2012                                            http://www.wiloludjournal.com
                     Printed in Nigeria                                      doi:10.5707/cjeducres.2012.5.1.1.11

               EXPLORING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ENGLISH TEACHERS’ EFFECTIVENESS
                                  AND THEIR PERSONALITY

                                    Ebrahim Khodadady and Parisa Mirjalili
                                     Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran

    ABSTRACT
    By administering the validated Persian version of Characteristics of Effective English Language
    Teachers (CEELT) and the NEO Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) to 1260 learners of English as a
    foreign language (EFL) and one hundred eighteen EFL teachers in Iran, this study explored whether
    there was any significant relationships between factors underlying the CEELT and teachers’
    personality. It was found that among the five factors underlying the CEELT, four factors, i.e., Rapport,
    Fairness, Qualification and Facilitation correlated significantly with the four dimensions of teachers’
    personality, i.e., Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Neuroticism, and Openness. As the fifth factor
    underlying effective EFL teaching, Examination, however, correlated significantly but negatively with
    Extraversion. It did, nonetheless, reveal positive and significant relationship with Neuroticism, and
    Openness. The implications of the findings such as the close relationship between Qualification and
    Conscientiousness and their relevance to Facilitation are discussed and suggestions are made for future
    research.

    KEYWORDS: English as a foreign language, personality, learners, teacher effectiveness

INTRODUCTION
Every year thousands of learners of various cultural, economic, educational, social and psychological
backgrounds and ages register in private language institutes to learn English as a foreign language (EFL) in
Mashhad, Iran. Due to this ever-increasing demand, various subfields of language education such as Teaching
English as Foreign Language (TEFL), English Language and Literature, and English Translation are offered at
undergraduate and graduate levels in private and state universities.

Although a noticeable amount of budget is spent on offering the TEFL and its affiliated fields to applicants and
a large number of resources are allocated to this purpose, little attention seems to have been paid to find out
whether the personality of EFL teachers and their characteristics bear any relationship with their effectiveness in
EFL classes. This untoward state of affairs is reflected in the syllabus offered at undergraduate level. There is,
for example, no course dealing with teacher’s personality factors and how they may affect their effectiveness in
their EFL classes. The would-be EFL teachers must, therefore, wait to study such issues at graduate programs as
if these were only graduate degree holders who taught the EFL to the public.

Some methodology textbooks studied at undergraduate level of the TEFL, however, do include a single chapter
dealing with personality factors. Principles of Language Learning and Teaching (Brown, 1994), for example,
contains the “Personality Factors” as its sixth chapter in which a number of issues such as self-esteem,
inhibition, risk taking, anxiety, empathy, extroversion, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations are brought up.
However important these topics might be on the part of learners, virtually none of the factors related to teachers
are covered in this and other relevant textbooks. Although one cannot expect a full coverage of a broad topic
such as personality in a single chapter, treating such an important issue in a field such as the TEFL seems to be
far from adequate. The present study is therefore designed to address the issue from an empirical perspective
and explore whether teachers’ effectiveness is significantly related to their personality.

Teaching Factors
Although teaching factors have long been studied in education, they have received little attention in foreign
language teaching. This lack of proper and long due attention stems from the approaches followed in offering
EFL general courses. Based on how learning is assumed to occur, the EFL teaching approaches have treated it
as content-based and defined teaching as an activity through which the learners must learn the content of the



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         Ebrahim Khodadady and Parisa Mirjalili: Continental J. Education Research 5 (1):1 - 11, 2012


course. Translation-Based Instruction (TBI), for example, lays the responsibility of absorbing the message
expressed in a source text solely on the learners and treats teachers as translators whose main function is to spot
and explain their learners’ errors in translating the English texts into their mother language. Khodadady and
Elahi (2012) conducted an experimental study in which EFL learners taught on the basis of schema theory
obtained significantly higher scores on grammar, vocabulary and reading comprehension tests than their
counterparts taught via TBI.

The learners in the control group performed significantly lower than their counterparts in the experimental group
because the TBI lacks a theory to support it as a language teaching approach (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). Since
it is based on faculty psychology (Chastain, 1988) many foreign language teachers have adopted translation as a
method to develop learners’ knowledge about foreign language competence. However, as Newmark (1988)
convincingly argued, this pedagogical application of translation “has to be sharply distinguished from its normal
use in transferring meaning and conveying messages” (p.7). Khodadady and Elahi’s (2012) results thus support
Newmark’s contention regarding the main use of translation as a means of transferring meaning and discourage
its application as a teaching approach in foreign language classes.

The TBI does not bring about significantly higher performance in foreign language learning because it is the
responsibility of EFL learners to translate the source texts by themselves and attend the TBI sessions to find out
whether they have rendered the text properly as they read their translations loud in the class. (Many of them may
not even have the opportunity to read either the source text in the foreign language or their translations in their
mother tongue because their teachers will accomplish these tasks themselves if nobody volunteers to do so.)
This type of learning is naturally affected neither by students’ personality factors such as anxiety and self-
esteem nor by teaching factors. When an EFL learner reads her translation in her mother language, for example,
she will face little anxiety and need little of her teacher’s support, if any, to get her message across.

Viewing the EFL teaching approaches from teachers rather than learners’ perspective will therefore help
understand what role teaching plays in the process of EFL learning and thus fill the gap faced in teacher
education programs as it is convincingly brought up by Akbari (2007). Moafian and Pishghadam (2008) were
the first scholars who designed the 47-item questionnaire named “Characteristics of Successful EFL Teachers”
in Iran to explore the role. They administered the questionnaire to 250 EFL learners of various ages and
occupations and extracted 12 factors, i.e., Attention to all, Examination, Commitment, Learning boosters,
Creating a sense of competence, Teaching boosters, Physical and emotional acceptance, Empathy, Class
attendance, and Dynamism.

Khodadady (2010) [henceforth K10), however, changed the name “Characteristics of Successful EFL Teachers”
to Characteristics of Effective English Language Teachers (CEELT) to create an easy-to-pronounce acronym
and administered it to 1469 high school students in Mashhad, Iran. In contrast to 12, Khodadady extracted five
factors which explain not only the 39 characteristics compiled by Suwandee (1995) and extended to 47 by
Moafian and Pishghadam (2008), but also reduces the number of six teaching components specified by
Hildebrand, Wilson and Dienst (1971), Irby (1978) and Sherman et al. (1987), i.e., knowledge, preparation/
organization/ clarity, enthusiasm/ stimulation, instructor-group interaction, instructor-individual student
interaction, and examination/ grading, to five. The five factors underlying the CEELT are Rapport, Fairness,
Qualification, Facilitation and Examination. (They will be described shortly.)

Personality Factors
Personality is defined as a unique expression of individual differences in behavior and experience (Pervin &
John, 1995), which must, out of necessity, be reflected in personal attributes. Elizabeth, May and Chee (2008),
for example, believed that teachers’ personal and professional attributes are related to each other closely and in
combination with contextual factors influence teachers’ success.

Three main instruments, i.e., Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Myers & Briggs, 1976), Gigantic Three (Eysenck &
Eysenck, 1985) and NEO Five Factor Inventory (Costa & McCrae, 1992) known as NEO-FFI are currently used
in psychology. According to Becker (2006), however, the last questionnaire has been extensively used in
research and clinical settings and its five factors, i.e., Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Extraversion,
Emotional Stability, and Openness to Experience, have been reported to be predicative of job performance (e.g.,
Barrick & Mount, 1991; Witt, Burke, Barrick & Mount, 2002). For this reason the NEO-FFI has been employed



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         Ebrahim Khodadady and Parisa Mirjalili: Continental J. Education Research 5 (1):1 - 11, 2012


along with the CEELT in this study to find out whether there is any significant relationship between EFL
teachers’ personality and their effectiveness by raising the following six questions.

Q1. Is there any significant relationship between EFL teachers’ personality and their effectiveness in teaching?
Q2. Is there any significant relationship between EFL teachers’ Emotional Stability and their effectiveness in
    teaching?
Q3. Is there any significant relationship between Iranian EFL teachers’ Extraversion and their effectiveness in
    teaching?
Q4. Is there any significant relationship between Iranian EFL teachers’ Openness to Experience and their
    effectiveness in teaching?
Q5. Is there any significant relationship between Iranian EFL teachers’ Agreeableness and their effectiveness in
    teaching?
Q6. Is there any significant relationship between Iranian EFL teachers’ Conscientiousness and their
    effectiveness in teaching?

METHODOLOGY
Participants
Two groups of people participated in the present study, i.e., learners and teachers of English as a foreign
language (EFL).

EFL Learners
One thousand two hundred and sixty learners of EFL, 848 female and 412 male, took part voluntarily in this
study. Their age ranged between 17 and 49 (mean = 22.77, SD = 6.27). Three hundred and thirty three (26.4%),
321 (25.5%), 313 (24.8%) and 293 (23.3%) were studying EFL at pre-intermediate, intermediate, upper
intermediate and advanced levels, respectively, at Arianpour, Game Andisheh, Jahad Daneshgahi, Kish, Kishair,
Rah-e-Nour, Safir, Sama, Shokooh and Zabansara institutes in Mashhad, Iran. They were holding high school
grade three, preuniversity and diploma, above diploma, BA/BSc., MA/Msc., Doctorate and PhD degrees in
Accounting, Art, Computer, Engineer, Finance, Humanities, Language and Literature, Law, Management,
Mathematics, Medicine, Physical Education, Psychology, Science, and Sociology. The learners were all
speaking Persian as their mother language.

EFL Teachers
Along with 1260 EFL learners, their 118 teachers, 83 female and 35 male, participated voluntarily in the study.
They were either holding or studying for BA (n =83, 70.3%), MA (n =34, 28.8%) and Doctorate (n = 1, .8%)
degrees in Teaching English (n = 32, 27.1%), English Translation (n= 24, 20.3%), English Language and
Literature (n = 32, 27.1%), Linguistics (n= 2, 1.7%) and other fields (n = 28, 23.7%) in Allame Tabatabayi,
Azad University, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Imam Reza, Khayyam, Medical University, Payam Noor,
Sajjad and unspecified overseas universities. Their age ranged from 19 to 56 (mean = 28.69, SD = 6.96) and
had an experience of 1 to 2 years (n = 20, 16.9%), 3 to 5 years (n = 38, 32.2%), 6 to 8 years (n = 35, 29.7%), 9
to 11 years (n = 12, 10.2%) and more than 12 years (n = 13, 11.0%). They spoke English (n = 5, 4.2%), Persian
(n = 111, 94.1%) and Turkish (n = 2, 1.7%) as their mother language.

Instruments
Three questionnaires were employed in the present study, i.e., Bio questionnaire, Characteristics of Effective
English Language Teachers and NEO Five Factor Inventory

Bio Questionnaires
Two bio questionnaires were developed for EFL teachers and learners. The teachers’ bio questionnaire consisted
of ten short answer questions and multiple choice items dealing with the name of institute where they were
teaching the EFL, their university, year, field and degree of study, age, gender, GPA, and mother language. The
learners’ bio questionnaire, however, called for their specification of gender, field of study in university,
proficiency level of English language and mother language.

Characteristics of Effective English Language Teachers
The Persian 47-item Characteristics of Effective English Language Teachers (CEELT) was originally compiled
by Moafian and Pishghadam (2008) who added eight items to the 39 characteristics selected from 14 studies by



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         Ebrahim Khodadady and Parisa Mirjalili: Continental J. Education Research 5 (1):1 - 11, 2012


Suwandee (1995) and named it characteristics of successful language teachers. (The English version of the
CEELT is given in Appendix.) Birjandi and Bagherkazemi (2010, p. 139) dubbed it “the Successful Iranian EFL
Teacher (SIET)’. Khodadady (2010), however, changed the name to the CEELT as an easy-to-pronounce
acronym and administered it to 1469 (588 male and 881 female) high school students in Mashhad, Iran. In
contrast to Moafian and Pishghadam who extracted 12 factors from their sample of 250 participants, Khodadady
extracted five factors and named them Rapport, Fairness, Qualification, Facilitation and Examination.

Table 1 presents the descriptive statistics of the acceptably loading items, i.e., .30 and higher, constituting the
five factors extracted from the CEELT by Khodadady (2010). As can be seen, the most reliable factors are
Fairness (.92) and Qualification (.90) followed by Facilitation (.85), Rapport (.83) and Examination (.72).
(Khodadady reported the acceptable loadings of a given item on more than one factor. Table 1, however,
presents the highest loading of a given item on one factor only and its cross loadings on other factors have been
removed to provide a clearer picture of what underlies the CEELT). Khodadady reported an alpha of .97 for the
CEELT itself, indicating that it is among the most reliable measures of teacher characteristics.

Table
Descriptive statistics of the factors extracted from the CEELT
                     # of                                                       Variance                    Alpha
Factors                          Items                                                      Eigenvalue
                     items                                                      explained
Rapport              7           3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 24                           12.1%       5.961           .83
Fairness             15          25, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43,    11.5%                       .92
                                                                                            5.499
                                 44, 45, 46, 47
Qualification        14          1, 2, 6, 12, 13, 14, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30,   11.2%                       .90
                                                                                            4.910
                                 31, 32
Facilitation         9           10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 26, 27, 37             9.6%        4.020           .85
Examination          2           19, 20                                         4.2%        1.964           .72
CEELT                47                                                         48.6%       -               .97

NEO Five Factor Inventory
The NEO Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) designed by Costa and McCrae (1992) was used for measuring the
personality of EFL teachers. However, in order to avoid any possible misunderstanding on the part of the
participants, its Persian version employed by Khodadady and Zabihi (2011) was used in the present study. The
Persian NEO-FFI is a self-report paper and pencil questionnaire which covers the five 12-item main domains of
the Big Five model, i.e., Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. It
comprises 60 items which are scored on the Likert scale of five points, i.e., strongly disagree, disagree, no idea,
agree and strongly agree, to which the values of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are assigned, respectively. The reliability and
validity of this inventory were first established in Iran by Garousi, Mehryar and Ghazi Tabatabayi (2001)
[henceforth GMG01]. They reported Cronbach’s Alpha coefficients ranging from 0.66 to 0.87 and validated it
via criterion-related method with coefficients between 0.65 and 0.76.

Procedure
Upon getting the questionnaires printed and ready, the authorities of the institutes mentioned in section 2.1.1
were contacted and their official approval was gained to administer them to their registered learners.
Fortunately, 118 EFL teachers in these institutes volunteered to take the Persian NEO-FFI themselves and
administer the CEELT to their students after arranging for an appropriate session. One of the researchers
attended the institutes as soon as the EFL instructors announced their most appropriate session via telephone and
handed out the CEELT to the learners while the instructors took the NEO-FFI themselves. Since all the
instruments were in Persian, the researchers did not face any questions during their administration in the
summer of 2011.

Data Analysis
The descriptive as well as inferential statistics of the CEELT and NEO-FFI were calculated by utilizing the
SPSS version 19.0 to scrutinize the functioning of the questionnaires. The Cronbach Alpha internal consistency
estimates of both questionnaires along with Pearson Product moment correlation coefficient were obtained to
explore their reliability and validity.



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         Ebrahim Khodadady and Parisa Mirjalili: Continental J. Education Research 5 (1):1 - 11, 2012


RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
Table 2 presents the descriptive statistics of the CEELT and its underlying factors. As can be seen, the reliability
coefficient obtained for the CEELT in this study is 0.94 which indicates that it is highly reliable measure of
teacher effectiveness. It is, however, slightly lower than that of Khodadady (2010), i.e., 0.97, simply because the
sample of the present study was relatively smaller, i.e., 1260 vs. 1469, and more heterogeneous. While
Khodadady administered it only to high school students, the participants’ of the present included not only high
school students but also those who were either studying at university or graduated long ago.

                   Table 2: Descriptive statistics of the CEELT and its underlying factors
                          # of                                  Present study     Khodadady (2010)
      Factors                      Mean          Std. Deviation
                          items                                 Alpha             Alpha
      CEELT               47       207.05        23.935         .94               .97
      Rapport             7        31.74         4.550          .69               .83
      Fairness            15       67.12         8.768          .91               .92
      Qualification       14       64.43         6.322          .82               .90
      Facilitation        9        35.72         6.792          .84               .85
      Examination         2        8.03          2.176          .69               .72

Table 3 presents the descriptive statistics and the alpha reliability coefficients (RCs) of the Persian NEO-FFI
and its five factors. As can be seen, among the five factors Conscientiousness has the highest RC, i.e., .81,
followed by Openness, i.e., .71. The RCs of these two factors are higher than the NEO-FFI itself, i.e., .69. The
low RCs obtained in the present study can be attributed to the relatively small number of EFL teachers who took
the NEO-FFI, i.e., 118. Khodadady and Zabihi (2010) [henceforth KZ11), for example, used the Persian NEO-
FFI to explore the relationship between school performance and personality factors on the one hand and cultural
and social capitals and personality factors on the other. As can be seen in Table 3, the responses of 402
undergraduate and graduate university students in Mashhad showed that the Persian NEO-FFI has an acceptable
RC, i.e., .81, as was the case with the 1717 participants of GMG01, i.e., .86.

                 Table 3: Descriptive Statistics of the NEO-FFI and its five dimensions
                              # of                Std.         Present       Study KZ11             GMG01
       Dimensions                      Mean
                              items               Deviation    Alpha               Alpha            Alpha
       Agreeableness          12       43.92      5.636        .64                 .65              .68
       Conscientiousness      12       46.26      6.638        .81                 .79              .87
       Extraversion           12       42.68      5.486        .65                 .75              .73
       Neuroticism            12       32.50      6.215        .68                 .83              .86
       Openness               12       40.80      6.384        .71                 .48              .56
       NEO-FFI                60       206.16 14.360           .69                 .81              .86

Table 4 presents the correlation coefficients (CCs) obtained between the NEO-FFI, CEELT and its five factors.
As can be seen, the NEO-FFI correlates significantly with the CEELT (r = .14, p <.01) and thus provides the
answer for the first question. The significant CC indicates that teachers’ personality and their effectiveness in
teaching explain approximately two percent of variance in each other. The significant relationship between the
personality and effectiveness in EFL teaching becomes more outstanding when we focus on the relationship
between personality and other variables such as GPAs. KZ11 found a significant relationship between the EFL
learners’ school GPA and their own personality (r = .18, p < .01). Their finding along with that of the present
study indicate that while learners’ own personality explain about three percents in their GPA, EFL teachers’
personality explains 1.96 percent of their effectiveness in teaching.

         Table 4: CCs obtained among EFL teachers’ personality and effectiveness factors
Personality        CEELT Rapport       Fairness     Qualification       Facilitation     Examination
NEO-FFI             .14*         .12*         .13*        .15*              .10*              .04
* Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)




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         Ebrahim Khodadady and Parisa Mirjalili: Continental J. Education Research 5 (1):1 - 11, 2012


The first interesting and unexpected finding of this study is the slightly higher correlation between the NEO-FFI
and teachers’ Qualification (r = .15, p < .01) than the NEO-FFI and total CEELT (r = .14, p <.01), highlighting
the role of teachers’ Qualification in their personality as a whole. As can be seen in Table 4, Fairness occupies
the second highest position (r = .13, p < .01) followed by Rapport (r = .12, p < .01) and Facilitation (r = .15, p <
.01), emphasizing the relatively significant role of EFL teachers’ personality in their being qualified, fair,
understanding and facilitative.

Table 5 presents the CC which provides a positive answer to the second research question, i.e., is there any
significant relationship between EFL teachers’ Emotional Stability and their effectiveness in teaching? As can
be seen, not only does the CEELT itself but also its Qualification and Facilitation factors show the same degree
of significant relationship with Neuroticism (r = .08, p < .01). The second unexpected finding of the present
study is, however, the higher significant and positive relationship found between Neuroticism and Examination
(r = .08, p < .01) than the relationship between Neuroticism, Qualification and Facilitation

Table 5: CCs obtained among EFL teachers’ Neuroticism and effectiveness factors
Personality factor         CEELT       Rapport      Fairness     Qualification   Facilitation     Examination
                              **                                       **              **
Neuroticism               .08          .05           .05         .08             .08              .11**
* Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)

It must, however, be emphasized that neurotic Teachers do not suffer from any psychological disorder. They are
simply “somewhat sensitive and moody, and are probably dissatisfied with several aspects of their lives” (Costa,
McCrae & PAR Staff, 2000) which might include their teaching environment, methods and results. For this
reason their students and colleagues “might characterize them as worriers or overly emotional in comparison
with the average person” (p. 3). Neurotic Teachers seem to be anxious not only about their students’
Examination but also about their own Qualifications and Facilitation of learning processes.

Table 6 presents the CC which provide a positive answer to the third research question, i.e., is there any
significant relationship between Iranian EFL teachers’ Extraversion and their effectiveness in teaching, in that
Extraversion correlates significantly with the CEELT (r = .08, p < .01). Among the five factors underlying the
CEELT, Extraversion has, however, the highest relationship with Rapport (r = .12, p < .01) because extravert
teachers “enjoy the company of others and the stimulation of social interaction” (Costa, McCrae & PAR Staff,
2000, p.3). They are not only “friendly” but also “good-tempered” as reflected in items three and seven having
the highest loading (.72) on Rapport (Khodadady, 2010, p. 61).

Table 6: CCs obtained among EFL teachers’ Extraversion and effectiveness factors
Personality factor         CEELT       Rapport      Fairness     Qualification   Facilitation     Examination
Extraversion              .08**        .12**         .08**       .06*            .04              -.07*
** Correlation is significant at the .01 level (2-tailed)
* Correlation is significant at the .05 level (2-tailed)

Among the four factors underlying the CEELT, Examination shows a significant but negative relationship with
Extraversion (r = -.07, p < .05). This finding may indicate that the more the EFL teachers “avoid being too
strict”, the fewer “number of tests” they hold in order to stay friendly with their learners. This is because while
the former loads acceptably both on Rapport (.46) and Fairness (.54) as their contributing characteristic, the
latter, i.e., “holding adequate number of tests,” loads the highest (.63) on Examination (Khodadady, 2010, p. 65)
only indicating that the EFL teachers should not let their Extraversion affect their objective evaluation of
learners’ performance.

Table 7 presents CC confirming the existence of a significant relationship between Iranian EFL teachers’
Openness to Experience and their effectiveness in teaching (r = .08, p < .01) raised in the fourth research
question. Interestingly, out of five factors underlying the CEELT, Qualification, Facilitation and Examination
reveal the same amount of significant relationship with the Openness as does the CEELT, i.e., r = .08, p < .01.
Since teachers who are high in Openness are “sensitive to their own feelings and have a greater than average




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         Ebrahim Khodadady and Parisa Mirjalili: Continental J. Education Research 5 (1):1 - 11, 2012


ability to recognize the emotions of others” (Costa, McCrae & PAR Staff, 2000, p.3), they might follow their
teaching objectives even if it results in reaching low Rapport with the learners.

Table 7: CCs obtained among EFL teachers’ Openness and effectiveness factors
Personality factor       CEELT        Rapport      Fairness      Qualification    Facilitation    Examination
                               **                        *             **               **
Openness                 .08          .03           .07          .08              .08             .08**
** Correlation is significant at the .01 level (2-tailed)
* Correlation is significant at the .05 level (2-tailed)

Table 8 shows the CC disconfirming the presence of a significant relationship between Iranian EFL teachers’
Agreeableness and their effectiveness in teaching raised in the fifth research question. Since teachers high in
Agreeableness but low in Openness “feel that following the established rules without questions is the best way
to ensure peace and prosperity for everyone” (Costa, McCrae & PAR Staff, 2000, p.13) they do not pay
attention to establishing Rapport, reaching Fairness, enhancing Qualification, indulging in Facilitation and
employing Examination and thus their Agreeableness does not show any significant relationship with the five
factors underlying the CEELT.

Table 8: CCs obtained among EFL teachers’ Agreeableness and effectiveness factors
Personality factor       CEELT        Rapport      Fairness      Qualification    Facilitation    Examination
Agreeableness            .02          .02          .04           .03              -.02            -.03

Table 9 presents the CC confirming the existence of a significant relationship between Iranian EFL teachers’
Conscientiousness and their effectiveness in teaching raised in the sixth research question (r = .08, p < .01).
Since “high scores on Conscientiousness are associated with responsibility, persistence, trustworthiness, and
being purposeful” (Conrad & Patry, 2012, p.2) and Conscientiousness shows the highest relationship with the
EFL teachers’ Qualification, it can be argued that the more qualified the EFL teacher are, the more
Conscientious they will be in their career. In other words, teacher training centers and universities need to offer
high quality education to the would-be EFL teachers if they wish to educate conscientious educators.

Table 9: CCs obtained among EFL teachers’ Conscientiousness and effectiveness factors
Personality factor        CEELT        Rapport      Fairness      Qualification    Facilitation    Examination
Conscientiousness         .08**        .07*          .07*         .10**            .06*            -.02
** Correlation is significant at the .01 level (2-tailed)
* Correlation is significant at the .05 level (2-tailed)

CONCLUSIONS
Effectiveness in teaching EFL seems to rely on five factors, i.e., Rapport, Fairness, Qualification, Facilitation
and Examination. As the first factor explaining the highest variance in effectiveness, Rapport involves the EFL
teachers’ ability to understand, respect and stimulate their learners by being friendly and good tempered with
them. Teachers high in Extroversion achieve establishing Rapport with the learners but should be careful in their
Examination in order not to let their students exploit their sociability and have him compromise their evaluation
of educational objectives pursued in their teaching programs.

Fairness reflected in EFL teachers’ ability to overcome any types of discrimination among their learners shows
significant relationships with Extraversion, Openness and Conscientiousness. Among these three personality
dimensions, Extraversion, however, reveals the highest level of correlation with Fairness explaining the second
highest variance in teaching effectiveness. This finding may indicate that the more social the EFL teachers are
and the more friendly they behave with their learners, the fairer they sound in their classes. Fairness, however,
shows no significant relationship either with Agreeableness or with Neuroticism and thus emphasizes the fact
that EFL teachers being high in these two personality dimensions will not be judged agreeably and fairly by
their learners.




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         Ebrahim Khodadady and Parisa Mirjalili: Continental J. Education Research 5 (1):1 - 11, 2012


The acceptable mastery of subject matter and having updated information, i.e., Qualification, occupies the
middle position in explaining the total variance observed in teaching effectiveness among its five underlying
factors. While it shows significant correlations with the three dimensions of personality, i.e., Extraversion,
Neuroticism and Openness, Qualification correlates the highest with Conscientiousness indicating that
responsible EFL teachers are of necessity qualified and thus facilitate their learners’ English achievement
regardless of the manner in which the achievement is measured (O’Connor & Paunonen, 2007).

As the fourth factor underlying teaching effectiveness, Facilitation shows the same degree of significant
correlation with Openness and Neuroticism and a slightly lower relationship with Conscientiousness. Common
to EFL teachers high in both Openness and Neuroticism is their sensitivity to what happens in their classes. As
facilitators of English language learning they should constantly exploit their sensitivity to educational objectives
to keep themselves aware of new teaching methods and strategies and employ creativity to fulfill the objectives
as effectively as possible.

And finally Examination shows the highest positive and significant relationship with Neuroticism, indicating
that EFL learners need to see their teachers “as worriers or overly emotional” (Costa, McCrae & PAR Staff,
2000, p. 3) individuals who care about their learning activities. Examination, however, does show lower but
positive and significant relationship with Openness as well, implying that Neuroticism among EFL teachers has
its probable roots in being “original and curious”. Since it reveals a negatively significant relationship with
Extroversion, it can be concluded that the EFL teachers need to be less “sociable” with their learners so that
their Extroversion does not negatively affect their evaluation of their learners’ performance on tests. Future
research must, however, show whether these findings could be confirmed by employing ability measures such as
achievement and proficiency tests. Finding significant relationships between formally taught abilities and
teacher traits such as the CEELT and NEO-FFI will, for example, help the public determine to what extent EFL
teachers’ traits can bring about observable changes in their learners’ academic accomplishments.

REFERENCES
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Barrick, M. R., & Mount, M. K. (1991). The Big Five Personality Dimensions and Job Performance: A Meta-
Analysis. Personnel Psychology, 44, 1-26.


Becker, G. (2006). NEO-FFI scores in college men and women: A view from McDonalds unified treatment of
test theory. Journal of Research in Personality, 40, 911–941.

Birjandi, P., & Bagherkazemi, M. (2010). The Relationship between Iranian EFL Teachers’ Critical Thinking
Ability and their Professional Success. English Language Teaching, 3(2), 135-145.

Brown, H. D. (1994). Principles of language learning and teaching (3rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-
Hall Regents.

Chastain, K. (1988). Developing second-language skills: Theory and practice (3rd ed.). San Diego: Harcourt
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Costa, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R) and NEO Five-Factor
Inventory (NEO-FFI) professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

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in Hong Kong. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24, 623-634.

Eysenck, H. J., & Eysenck, M. W. (1985). Personality and individual differences. New York: Plenum.



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Garoosi, M. T., Mehryar, A. H., & Ghazi Tabatabaii, M. (2001). Application of the NEO- PI- R test and analytic
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Appendix
Characteristics of Effective English Language Teachers (CEELT)

Directions: There are 47 statements in this questionnaire. Read each statement carefully and decide whether you
completely agree (CA), agree (A), to some extent agree (SEA), disagree (D) and completely disagree (CD) with
it. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer. Each statement simply reflects your views, feelings, and
attitudes towards your English teachers.




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         Ebrahim Khodadady and Parisa Mirjalili: Continental J. Education Research 5 (1):1 - 11, 2012


My English teacher …                                                           CD    D      SEA         A   CA
01 Has a good knowledge of subject matter.
02 Has up to date information.
03 Is friendly towards learners.
04 Respects learners as individuals.
05 Understands learners well.
06 Has the ability to manage the classroom well.
07 Is good-tempered.
08 Is patient.
09 Has a sense of humour.
10 Is aware of new teaching methods and strategies.
11 Uses extra instructional materials such as tapes, movies, etc.
12 Enjoys teaching.
13 Is interested in the subject matter he/she is teaching.
14 Has self-confidence.
15 Has the ability to stimulate learners in learning.
16 Knows his/her learners well (talents, abilities, weaknesses).
17 Uses good learners to help weaker ones.
18 Gives sufficient number of assignments.
19 Holds adequate number of tests.
20 Is prompt in returning test results.
21 Is well-prepared for the class.
22 Is careful and precise in answering learners’ questions.
23 Emphasizes important materials and points.
24 Is a dynamic and energetic person.
25 Pays attention to all students.
26 Is willing to help learners in and out of the classroom.
27 Encourages learners in different ways.
28 Speaks clearly with a correct pronunciation.
29 Has clean and tidy appearance.
30 Presents materials at learners’ level of comprehension.
31 Enters the classroom on time.
32 Leaves the classroom on time.
33 Respects all ideas.
34 Accepts constructive criticisms.
35 Has the subject matter well-organized according to the number of
sessions and hours
36 Is impartial in grading.
37 Has creativity in teaching.
38 Involves all students in learning.
39 Creates equal opportunities for learners’ participation in the classroom.
40 Creates opportunities for discussion and asking questions.
41 Avoids discriminating against learners.
42 Attends to the learners problems in learning.
43 Divides class time appropriately for the different language skills
according to the purposes of the course.
44 Avoids making fun of the learners.
45 Avoids being too strict.
46 Creates self-confidence in learners.
47 Emphasizes the presence of students in the classroom.




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        Ebrahim Khodadady and Parisa Mirjalili: Continental J. Education Research 5 (1):1 - 11, 2012


Received for Publication: 12/12/2011
Accepted for Publication: 22/02/2012

Corresponding author
Ebrahim Khodadady
Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran
Email: ekhodadady@gmail.com




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