Saudi EFL Teachers’ Perceptions of Personal Learning Networks as a Vehicle for Professional Development
This study aimed to investigate Saudi EFL (English as a foreign language) teachers’ perceptions of personal learning networks (PLNs) as a form of informal professional development. The study explored, from the perspective of communities of practice theory, whether Saudi EFL teachers were aware of this concept, particularly social media tools, and how they perceived and used them for their professional growth. The participants of this study were 66 EFL teachers who taught at English language institutes in different universities in Saudi Arabia. The study adopted an explanatory mixed-methods design. Quantitative data were collected from all 66 teachers using an online questionnaire to investigate their awareness, perceptions, and practice of using PLNs for their informal professional development. Qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interviews conducted with 10 teachers. The findings of the study showed that Saudi EFL teachers had high awareness of the concept of PLNs (although they were unaware of its professional term), held positive perceptions regarding the use of PLNs, and used them for their professional growth.
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