Document Type : Research article


1 MSc, English Department, Tehran West Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of English Department, Sabzevar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sabzevar, Iran

3 Associate Professor of English Department, Tehran West Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


The present study aimed at investigating the perceptions of EFL teachers about students’ misbehavior in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom contexts. Moreover, the study sought to probe what strategies EFL and ESL teachers use to deal with students’ misbehavior. Participants included 10 teachers in EFL classes in Iran and 12 teachers in ESL classes in the Philippines. Qualitative data were collected through conducting interviews with the invited teachers and observing their classrooms for four sessions. Data were analyzed using the grounded theory (GT) method. The initial analysis of the data revealed that English language teachers in this study did not perceive misbehavior differently from the existing definitions in the literature. To them, misbehavior in all language classes could be defined as an unusual and unexpected behavior that would lead to disorder in the process of teaching and learning. The Filipino and Iranian teachers as two example cases of ESL versus EFL contexts, respectively, utilized three types of strategies to deal with students’ misbehavior: 1) rule system, 2) reward system, and 3) personal encounter strategies for which clarifications were given in each context. Based on the analysis, it was found that the Filipino and Iranian teachers had more or less similar perceptions of learners’ misbehavior. This article has numerous implications regarding classroom management as inspired by language learning contexts for a successful social interaction between and among language learners and their teachers in two diverse contexts (EFL vs. ESL).


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