; Jacobson, 1994, p.7).
NLP is operationally defined as the scores that participants obtained through their answers to a Neuro-Linguistic Programming Questionnaire (NLPQ) which was designed and introduced by Reza Pishghadam (2011). It includes 38 sentences and has eight categories according to eight factors: Flexibility, Anchoring, Elicitation, Modeling, Individual Differences, Leading, Establishing Rapport and Emotional and Cognitive Boosters.
1.6. Significance of the study
Even though researches regarding autonomy and language instructors have been carried out before, little, if any have focused on the Iranian language teachers concerning autonomy and NLP. This research is to gain insight on these issues towards the language instructors and their teaching styles. What makes this study different from all other researches in the field of teachers’ autonomy is the simultaneous focus of the researcher on autonomy and NLP issues as mind-directed titles and teaching styles as the manifestation of these subjects. In fact, the teaching style could be regarded as the application of what each teacher thinks about teaching, herself/himself and students.
This paper is to examine the relationship among Teachers’ Teaching Styles, Autonomy and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). In recent years, the necessity for integration of new instruction methods into teaching approaches has become obvious. Moving from traditional methods of education to modern ones, countries like Iran find themselves trapped between these two extremes. On the one hand, ministry of education advocates conservative policies in all fields of its administration On the other hand, with the arrival of mass media, the satellite, and internet, the public is also exposed to new and modern methods of thinking, teaching and learning. This discrepancy can be clearly noticed in the English lesson curriculum designed by the ministry of education and the English courses offered by private language schools outside school time, Salahshour (2012).
1.7. Limitations and Delimitations
The present study sustained the following limitations which are expected to be removed in the future studies.
1. First, the participants were selected according to available sampling. The study should be replicated using procedures that allow a higher degree of randomization and ultimately more generalizability.
2. Second, all the partakers of this study were Iranian; therefore, the results cannot be generalized to teachers of other nationalities.
To expand the degree of control on the scope of the study, the researcher put the following delimitation.
1. In order for the results of this study to be more reliable, teachers with 2 years or more of experience were selected. And to prepare the ground for doing so, researcher made every effort to work with schools whose one of the criteria for employing EFL teachers was a minimum experience of 2 years.
2. This study was curbed to the population of language school teachers, not school teachers, since what teachers do in language schools is quite different from what they do in public schools where language is a marginal subject and most of the Iranian EFL learners rely on language schools rather than public schools for learning the language.
REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE
The purpose of this literature review is to examine various approaches to teaching styles, looking at the teachers’ autonomy and explain their relationship with NLP. In addition, this literature review explores each item separately in an effort to meet researcher’s goals more effectively. Finally, this literature review intends to provide an investigation of prior and current research concerning the influence of each variable on others.
Achieving the goals of the literature review, the researcher gathered information from various sources, including scholarly journal articles, books, and pertinent organizational websites. From sources reviewed, the researcher also examined the reference lists for citations identifying further sources that might be relevant to the current review.
Keyword searches facilitated the finding of articles pertaining to the following terms: teachers’ teaching styles, autonomy, and NLP. The researcher chose these terms in an attempt to target the search to those publications that were most relevant to the research question explored in this study, namely the relationship between teachers’ teaching style, autonomy, and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming).
Researcher has scrutinized definitions and influencing factors, learners’ side: learning styles, strategies, preferences and needs, performance and context, and teaching approaches and methodologies concerning English teaching styles. Second, taking into account Neuro-Linguistic Programming, researcher investigated the history, definition and fundamentals, products and essence. Finally, regarding autonomy, definition, learners’ autonomy vs. teachers’ autonomy and autonomy in language learning setting were surveyed.
2.2. Teachers’ Teaching Styles
2.2.1. Definition & Influencing Factors
There are various definitions which different researchers provided to define teaching style. According to Grasha (1996) teaching styles represent the pattern of needs, beliefs and behavior shown by teachers in the classroom. One teaching style involves a complex mix of beliefs, attitudes, strategies, techniques, motivation, personality and control, in accordance with Wright (1987). Gregorc (1989) also thinks that the teachers’ teaching styles are their personal behaviors and the media that they have been using are for transferring data and information to students.
Grasha (1996) defines the teaching styles as the pattern of belief, knowledge, performance and behavior of teachers when they are teaching. He divided the teaching styles into five dimensions which are the expert style, formal authority style, personal model style, delegator style and facilitator style. Peacock (2001), on the other hand asserted that the teaching style is the way a person teaches by nature, habitual, inclination or even a custom that is used to convey information and skills in the classroom.
On Stein and Miller (1980) grouped teaching styles into two types: expressive teaching styles (the emotional relationship created by the teacher to the student or the class as a whole) and instrumental teaching style (the way teachers carry out the task to assist students, planning the lesson, setting up the classroom standard and ensure that students achieve the standards set). Moreover, Kramlinger and Huberty (1990) also classified the teaching style from the perspective of humanism (personal experience), behaviorism (shapes the desired behavior through rewarding) and Cognitivism (resembles the traditional academic approach and aims to present the information logically).
Chapman, et al.,( 2001) acknowledged the role of gender, seniority and time in influencing their teaching. Furthermore, according to Peacock (2001), teaching styles used by teachers are very much depending on the teacher’s ethnicity. He also found out that teaching style is also influenced by the purpose and design of courses, norms of learning institutions and research results. Using the Myers Briggs Inventory and based on personality theories, Sturt (2000) analyzed the teaching style and categorized teaching styles to sixteen categories.
2.2.2. Learners’ side: learning styles, strategies, preferences and needs
Tudor (1996) provided proof for the fact that teaching style which parallels with the learning styles of students will be able to improve learning, attitudes, behavior and motivation. Oxford (1989) defines Learning strategies as behaviors or actions which learners use to mak
e language learning more successful, self-directed and enjoyable.
An abundance of information exists concerning teachers’ teaching style and their implications for learning and teaching, much of which are confusing to follow: Williamson & Watson (2007) claim that if educators are to make substantial progress toward the goal of developing lifelong learners, meeting the needs of students is essential. So it is of great importance for teachers to choose the best teaching style for different situations and different students. Pashler et al.( 2009), on the other hand, asserted that rather than differentiate instruction based on individual student’s modality strengths, educators should consider the best modality for presenting various subject matters and specific types of information.
Felder & Henriques (1995) showed the fact that the mismatch between teaching strategies and learning styles has a negative impact on academic achievement and course attendance. On the contrary, Rogers (2009) have come to the conclusion that congruence between teaching strategies and learning styles enhances students’ academic achievement .
According to Noble (2004) report, there is an increase in teacher’s willingness to incorporate learning styles research in their instructional practices when provided a tool for practical application. Furthermore, sometimes learning style theories can help teachers when these theories provide a framework from which to knowledgably develop a variety of instructional methodologies to utilize in their teaching (Hall & Moseley, 2005).
In this regard, there are so many arguements about the role of teaching and learning styles in learning/ teaching languages and the extent to which they are powerful. Many researchers agree that the varied conceptualizations of student learning preferences led to the review and development of numerous teaching styles including teacher-centered, experiential, and differentiated instruction, as well as various instructional model approaches and the incorporation of brain-based techniques (Caine, & Caine, 1991; Denig, 2004; Loo, 2004).
Zapalska and Dabb (2002) believe that an understanding of the way students learn improves the selection of teaching strategies best suited to student learning. In line with what Zapalska and Dabb (2002) said and in accordance with Noble’s (2004) belief, an understanding of learning styles can increase teachers’ confidence and ability to incorporate varied instructional practices in a way that provides for differing levels of ability and unique student learning preferences while maintaining an appropriate level of academic rigor.
Some researchers came to this conclusion that the past research’s focus on identifying individuals’ learning style preferences and patterns was purportedly beneficial for teachers in selecting and developing instructional practices, but research along those lines often took the form of studies evaluating the implementation of specific learning or instructional style models (Goby & Lewis, 2000; Lovelace, 2005; Noble, 2004).
Some experts still believe that learning styles should be considered as a helping tool for teachers when they are to choose a teaching style for their classroom. According to Williamson and Watson (2007), learning style theories provide a framework that enables teachers to knowledgably develop a variety of instructional methodologies to benefit all students.
Winger (2005) and Petress (2008) noted that “Instruction that is focused on what the teacher is teaching rather than what the students are learning encourages students to passively accept information and then simply repeat what they were told instead of actively processing the material and making it meaningful”. Some claim teachers who have a greater understanding of learning styles can increase their effectiveness in both instruction and assessment (Hall & Moseley; Honigsfeld & Schiering, 2004; Sternberg et al., 2008).