The World at WU

Getting professionalized for the power to become who you are as an early-career EFL teacher with Assist. Prof. Mark Bedoya Ulla


    Assist. Prof. Mark Bedoya Ulla, Walailak University lecturer from School of Languages and General Education, specializing in language education, use of technologies in classrooms and myriads topics related to the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). Assist. Prof. Mark recently had his article co-authored with Lecturer William Perales, also from School of Language and General Education published in a number of high-percentile journals. His two recent publications highlighted the correlation between the COVID-19 pandemic and education under the topic “Facebook as an Integrated Online Learning Support Application during the COVID 19 Pandemic: Thai University Students’ Experiences and Perspectives” published in Heliyon, a Q1 journal. The other has been published under the title “Exploring Early-Career EFL Teachers’ Engagement in Professional Learning: Teaching Beliefs and Professional values.” accepted for publication in RECL journal, Scopus Q1 journal of 90 percentiles. 
     Regarding the latter, Assist. Prof. Mark explored an integration of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF), a professional standards serving as a guideline for the teaching professionals to ensure excellent teaching practices. This is consistent with Walailak University being an early adopter of the framework and currently home to over 465 UKPSF fellows, accounting for astounding 99.13 percent, the highest in Thailand.

    Assist. Prof. Mark mentioned his rationale behind this work originating from early –career EFL teachers’ struggle to gain confidence upon first entering teaching career and pointed out that applying the UKPSF guidelines to promote their professionalism will help inexperienced teachers settle, identify themselves as a teacher and find their grounds in teaching through increased confidence resulting in improved teaching.

    “In your teaching, you will able to decide, strategize how you teach and how students learn effectively. To achieve that, teaches should be able to reflect their teaching and apply the UKPSF framework. This will enable them to manage class teaching,” explained Assist. Prof. Mark. 

    “Key is to empower, professionalize and give them voice and power to be who they are. It is alwayshard at the start of your career to” he added. 
Talking about the prospect of EFL, the focal point of interest is shifting from language acquisition enunciating learning of improvement of grammar and proficiency to integration of English in a corporate setting or, in other words, how students can make use of their foreign language skills to ensure employability and perform in a professional setting. 

    “Currently, it is all about how language teaching can become a powerful tool in shaping the life of students. The teacher’s role is to make sure that students are qualified for a job. This will generate impact on how researchers approach both their teaching and research,” said Assist. Prof. Mark before repeating three key tips to becoming a published researcher including making a decision on your area of interest, reading and writing routinely. 
This is consistent with how he views his research writing routine: “My work starts at 8 and ends at 5. After that, I work on my research. It is not part of my work. It is my passion.”


News by Nootchanat Sukkaew 

Division of Corporate Division