Exploring expert teachers' cognitions and practices of teaching English speaking and their students’ experiences and engagement
This study aims to provide insights into creating engaging and effective learning opportunities for learners of English as a foreign language. To this end, we explored five expert teachers’ cognitions and practices and their 79 students’ experiences and engagement by collecting data through semistructured interviews, observations, and focus-group discussions. We adopted a reflexive thematic approach to our data analysis that showed the expert teachers possessed detailed and integrated knowledge of teaching speaking and skills to translate their knowledge into practice effectively. Concomitantly, the students perceived their teachers as close and caring experts. Furthermore, the teachers’ behaviours and practices created opportunities for the students to form cohesive groups, exercise their agency, and enjoy completing many meaning-focused activities successfully. Overall, the students’ learning experiences contributed to the fulfilment of their psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness, enhancing their agentive, behavioural, cognitive, emotional, and social engagement in language learning. These findings extend previous research with significant implications for language education.