Connecting language proficiency to teaching ability: A meta-analysis

Farahnaz Faez*, Michael Karas, Takumi Uchihara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Most English language teachers around the world speak English as an additional language, and their level of English proficiency is often a matter of concern for them and their employers who associate higher levels of language proficiency with more effective teaching skills. To this end, several studies have examined the relationship between language proficiency and teachers’ beliefs about their pedagogical capabilities, commonly known as self-efficacy. While generally studies show a positive relationship between language proficiency and self-perceived teaching ability, findings regarding the strength of the relationship, the role of specific language skills (e.g. speaking, listening), and how they interact with different teaching abilities (e.g. classroom management) are inconsistent. By combining data from 19 studies, this meta-analytic study examined the relationship between language proficiency and teaching self-efficacy and analysed the role of various moderators such as teaching degree, teaching experience, and type of self-efficacy/proficiency measures. Findings reveal a moderate relationship (r =.37) between language proficiency and teaching self-efficacy, with some moderator variables showing significant differences across correlations. The results indicate that only a small percentage of the variance in self-efficacy can be accounted for by teachers’ language proficiency, suggesting that while language proficiency is important, there is more to self-efficacy than just language proficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)754-777
Number of pages24
JournalLanguage Teaching Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept
Externally publishedYes


  • English teacher efficacy
  • English teaching ability
  • meta-analysis
  • non-native English-speaking teachers
  • teacher language proficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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