Generally speaking, Mullock’s research paper is easy to follow and understand. At the very first stage of reading the article, I found quite confused with the way which the writer presented her points. Yet, the more I read the article, the clearer and more logical her points became. She studied an issue that has been perennial topic of discussion in any educational context, so the title drew attention at the first time of reading. The interest was heightened as reading through the article. As obviously showed on the paper, there was a change in today students’ perceptions of what constitutes a good language teacher compared to those of students in the past. The author has a firm background of TESOL teaching and teacher training. Plus, she utilized a lot of appropriate sources to back her points of view up. For instance, Mullock’s respondents were experienced and intending teachers, so she compared her respondents’ answers to findings of other studies on teacher’s thought. As a result, the credibility of this study is not a controversial matter. Another good point of this study is the appropriateness of the language use because Mullock used familiar terminology in education field when the targeted audiences are TESOL students, teachers, educational researchers and educators.
Moreover, when comparing her own study in TESOL area to the knowledge base conceptualization of Shulman (1987) in general education area, Mullock deeply analyzed and provided interesting information. She also considered cross-cultural matters arisen in each knowledge category to help the readers have a thorough insight into the issue. Additionally, her reasoning on the differences between her article and Shulman’s concept (mentioned in Summary part) is satisfactory.
Although this study succeeded in informing the readers of contemporary students’ perceptions of a good teacher’s characteristics, some weakness (at least in my view) are found interwoven with the strength.
In the first sorting, the author merely listed and compared her findings with the findings of Cortazzi & Jin (1996) and other researchers in general education field. She did give the possible reasons for the change in students’ perceptions of a good teacher’s features. Her arguments sound reasonable. However, it seems that she failed to correlate the significant changes in her findings with educational notions of learning and teaching. Typically, as seen in the article, the ability of knowing and understanding students’ need, strength and weakness nowadays becomes prior characteristics of a good language teacher. Why is there such a change? Referring to the ZPD (zone of proximal development) notion of Vygosky (1978) (as cited in Gibbons, 2006), if the teachers know what their students are good and bad at, they are able to help the students develop more in their learning process. Moreover, as suggested by Cuban (2013) when teachers know the students’ need, they can maximize their teaching as well as their...