Professional Success among Iranian University Professors of TEFL: A study on the Basis of Goffman's Footing Theory

Document Type : Research Paper


English Department, Torbat-e-Heydarieh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Torbat-e-Heydarieh, Iran


This study aimed at exploring the influence of the role that a teacher employs on his/her professional success. The teacher role was investigated from a new outlook, Goffman's footing theory. According to Goffman (1981), a speaker's role can be classified into three categories of animator, author, and principal, characterized as the repeater of the ideas made by the others, the paraphraser of concepts, and the creator of original ideas, respectively. Applying this theory in the educational context, the researchers selected 36 university professors of TEFL in the MA level and asked their students (N=118) to identify their professors' dominant role as animator, author, or principal, both generally and individually, via a metaphor checklist and their professional success via the Characteristic of Successful Iranian EFL Teacher Questionnaire. The results of Chi-square analysis indicated that the professors dominantly take on the author and animator roles respectively. One-way Anova results also demonstrated that the professors taking on the principal role enjoy higher professional success than those adopting the animator and author roles. The results offer implications and suggestions for pedagogical consideration within the Iranian university context.


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