The setting for themain study was Dilla university.
To present brief information about it,initially it was under Awassa university and named as Dilla College of TeacherEducation and Health Science. However, later it was upgraded as one of theuniversities established in 2006. As a recently established university, it wasstill undergoing changes and expansions especially in construction andinfrastructures during the time of the study. With regard to its academicstructure, it included different colleges; namely, College of Humanities andSocial Science, College of Education and Behavioural Science, College ofBusiness and Economics, College of Engineering, College of Agriculture andNatural Resource, College of Health Science, College of Mathematics andComputational Science, and College of Life and Physical Science, and one schoolnamed as School of Law, where each college consisted of different departmentsunder it. Department of EnglishLanguage and Literature, the focus of this study, is found under College of Humanitiesand Social Science. It is one of the pioneer departments which were opened whenthe College of Teacher Education and Health Science started in 1996. Currently,the department is offering education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels(the postgraduate programme is only in the area of TEFL) in regular, evening,and summer programmes. It is offering different courses to students of thedepartment as major and to students of other departments as common courses forthe undergraduate level.
One reason for selecting the university as a research site andteachers as subjects was personal experience. As it is stated in section 1.2, the researcher’s personal experience which he had in a short-term training there in theuniversity and in the department motivated him to conduct the study onthese teachers: to find out whether they had sufficientknowledge and at the same time practical experience of reflection on their EFL teaching.
Another reason whichcan be cited was its familiarity to the researcher that he is a staff memberthere and this would be very useful for him to have easy access of therespondents for the study. An additional reason to this was that his proximityto respondents would make them feel free and collaborative in making decisionsabout how, when, and where to conduct each tool during the data gatheringprocess. These factors would ease the data collection process for theresearcher and have effect on the nature of data intended to be collected. All EFL teachers wereconsidered as the subjects of this study.
One reason for this was that theirnumber was manageable. Another reason was from the belief that taking all ofthem would be helpful in generating rich information about the topic of thestudy. A further reason was that it would enhance generalizability of thefindings to the subjects in the context of the study. In addition toteachers, individuals who were concerned with the development and management ofeducation and training programmes in the university or had responsibility inenhancing the quality of the teaching and learning process were included in thestudy.
In this regard, the college dean and the department head (who wasfortunately from English language department) were included in the study. This wasfrom the belief that these individuals could better proximate teachers in themanagement line of the university and hence, could have more knowledge aboutteachers’ actual practice and associated factors to this than other people inthe upper line of the management could have. Their mid-line position in themanagement could also make them more appropriate people to have and provideinformation about the nature of support and facility provided to the departmentand to teachers in particular and the extent of availability of these in theuniversity in general.
Therefore, the researcher believed that including themor maintaining data source triangulation in the study would be helpful tocross-check, supplement, and triangulate information gathered from teachers.This in turn would be valuable to get clear idea about the topic of study.