Ticking the boxes for practice in Language Teacher Education?

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1 Ticking the boxes for practice in Language Teacher Education? The position of Teaching Practice in university programmes for teachers of languages of the wider world Jo Eastlake and Yousef Omar

2 LWW-CETL s objectives Taken from CETL final self-evaluation, March 31 st 2010 Provide enhanced status and personal development opportunities for language teachers.. (of) LCTLs, now referred to as Languages of the Wider World LWW; Bridge the gap between pedagogical research and classroom practice;

3 Teacher training/education University accredited teacher training and education courses language specific, for a language family or designed specifically with the LWW context in mind Certificate in Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language. Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching LWW (by portfolio) Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas in Teaching Arabic (pathway to Masters) Chinese as a Foreign Language (pathway to Masters) South Asian Languages (Certificate only)

4 Shifts to a teacher education model Position of languages and the subject positions of language teachers themselves according to their teaching trajectories and embodied histories of teaching and learning. Pennycook 2004.

5 Post-method approach (kumaravadivelu) Taken from CETL Self-evaluation. a critical awareness of the context of teaching and learning; a reflexivity through which beliefs about language learning and teaching are to be re-evaluated; learning-centredness, that is to say, the ability to promote a lively community of learning through informed interventions in the classroom based on examined experience and consolidated theory.

6 City and Guilds preparatory certificate on delivering learning Preparation Did the candidate: check the environment and resources beforehand? take into account any health & safety issues? Delivery Did the candidate: deliver an introduction, main content and conclusion? take into account different learning styles? use a range of activities? use relevant resources as appropriate? communicate effectively? appear confident and professional? take into account entitlement, equality, inclusivity and diversity?

7 Tick box approach a pre-occupation with lack not a value-free instrument. Full of history and unexamined discourses Focus on training not learning Methodologically-based behaviourist approach to learning teaching? Controlling teachers

8 Example text from our feedback forms prior to have shown very well your understanding of different stages and you distinguish between the presentation and the practice as well as understanding the stages when setting a task well done. The usage of variety of activities and drills was helpful, and covered the points of the class. well done for using authentic materials to teach the script. make sure you don t give the handout out before delivering instructions.

9 TP feedback; area of conflict Conversations about what I did what you didn t do this also appeared in student-teachers reflections Tensions and competing ideologies, power struggles Taking up positions (also discourse regarding languages being different) Complaints, silence and other forms of resistance Feeling the need to play safe and also play to how they believe they are being assessed

10 Changes in Planning, delivery and feedback no longer assessed. Degree and quality of reflection is assessed according to a continuous reflexive integration of thought, desire and action sometimes referred to as praxis (Simon, 92.) Feedback now -forum, space for the teacher to verbalise own practice, to learn, discuss. For educator to discuss critical moments, to shift or raise the level of the teacher s discourse, Tutors continue dialogue in student-teacher s reflections.. Examples

11 Continuing dialogues One of the very good points that made me calm, and feel that everything were under control, was the extra activities that I prepared for the lesson. Ok I think you should note this that you feeling calm and having enough is very important in your class that is what seems to be driving your practice. But also think of what the learners need. And what encourages language learning. For the previous lesson, one of the bad affects was the lack of the activities that made me not controlling the time management, and I finalised the lesson in only half an hour! Critical awareness of the context - teaching in complex social, cultural, economic and political environments (Canagarajah 99).

12 No observed teaching practice. Practice-based assignments instead. (PGCERT LWW) Developing own teacher position/philosophy through practice. (PGCert South Asian) Outline You are required to develop a language teaching portfolio by a) compiling documents and other artefacts regarding your teaching and learning experience on the course and b) maintaining written commentaries on these documents in relation to your overall and emerging teaching philosophy and vision of language education. The components and documents required for the Teacher s Portfolio are broken down into the following tasks: Portfolio tasks 1) Report on your emerging teaching philosophy and vision of language education with reference to work with your learners, your teaching context, key experiences, events and learning from the course, background reading and course tasks. 2) Discuss an area of interest in your teaching and professional context which you would like to explore/research further and why.

13 What about the workplace? Does the ability to verbalise own practice and choices and engage in theoretically and pedagogically informed discussions raise the status of language teachers and carry any capital for the market and the workplace? Job short-listings Immigration pressures 2 coordinators responses to theoretically informed dialogue regarding language teaching - that s the way we ve always done it. Don t change it. I hate all that communicative crap.

14 Teachers able to fully engage in the official academic discourses of the field of language pedagogy and teaching and learning; ((There has been)) an experience (if not always consciousness) of language teaching as a professional discipline underpinned by an extensive research literature and requiring practice and careful, shared reflection. (CETL self-evaluation, 2010).

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