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Homework: Voices from EFL teachers and learners

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Abstract (2. Language): 
Previous studies have mainly focused on homework in courses such as math and physics with little attention to homework in EFL (English as a foreign language) classes. The main purpose of the study reported in this paper was to give a voice to both EFL teachers and learners with regard to English homework. To this end, 8 EFL teachers and 19 EFL learners took part in a semi-structured interview first. Then, based on their responses to the interview questions and a comprehensive review of the literature, a questionnaire was developed and validated to investigate EFL learners’ and teachers’ perspectives on different aspects of English homework. The questionnaire was finally completed by 283 EFL learners and 46 English teachers from two famous English institutions in Iran. Results revealed that English homework can help EFL learners with their language learning apart from enabling them to improve their reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar. However, the homework assignments that are currently being used are not very interesting and do not help EFL learners improve all their English skills. The majority of EFL learners usually finish their homework in a hurry just before class begins; others do not spend the time that their teachers require them to spend on doing homework. English teachers should, therefore, design homework based on their students’ needs and interests as well as resort to employing modern opportunities such as online resources and self-access centers.

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