Factors Affecting Teachers’ curriculum implementation

| January 7, 2014

December 2009
Volume 4 Issue 2

December 2009 home | PDF version |

Factors Affecting Teachers’ Curriculum Implementation

Hong Wang
Mount Saint Vincent University,

Liying Cheng
Queen’s University,


Dr. Hong Wang received her M.A. in Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at Carleton University and Ph.D. in curriculum studies of second/foreign language education at Queen’s University, both in Canada. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language at Mount Saint Vincent University, Canada. Her research interests are ESL/EFL teacher education and professional development, second language acquisition, language policies, and curriculum implementation and evaluation.

Dr. Liying Cheng received her M.A. in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the University of Reading in England and Ph.D. in second/foreign language testing from the University of Hong Kong. Currently, she is an Associate Professor and Director of the Assessment and Evaluation Group at Queen’s University, Canada. Her primary research interests are the impact of large-scale testing on instruction, and the relationship between assessment and instruction in ESL/EFL classrooms, particularly the role assessment and testing play in teachers’ work.


Teachers play a key role in any curriculum implementation, as they determine whether or not curriculum innovation is successfully executed in the classroom as intended by policymakers. This paper explores factors affecting teachers’ implementation of English as a foreign language (EFL) curriculum as reported through a structured questionnaire by 248 EFL teachers in six universities from the north-western part of China. The findings of this study, through exploratory factor analyses and multiple regressions of the questionnaire data, revealed that six external and internal factors were significant predictors of teachers’ curriculum implementation. Among them, resource support, communicative language teaching, and teaching experience positively predicted these teachers’ curriculum implementation; grammar-translation method, English proficiency, and professional development needs, on the other hand, negatively predicted their curriculum implementation. The implications of this study point to the complex nature of curriculum implementation, and the multifaceted roles that teachers must play for successful implementation to occur within this EFL context in China.

Key Words: language teachers, external factors, internal factors, curriculum implementation, tertiary, China

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Category: 2009