Sunday, 28 September 2014

Second Language Teacher Education as shifting construct

Topic:- Second Language Teacher Education (SLTE)

Name :- Upadhyay Devngana S.

Subject :- Second Language Teaching (ELT)

Topic:- Second Language Teacher Education (SLTE)

Roll no :- 05

Submitted to :- MKB University

Guide by :- Parth Batt

Second Language Teacher Education

·        Introduction :-
                                    Second Language (L2) teacher education describes the field of professional activity through which individual learns to teach L2S. In terms commonly used in the field, these formal activities are generally referred to as teacher training, while those that are undertaken by experienced teachers, primarily on a voluntary individual basis, are referred to as teacher development. I return to this issue of nomenclature later on at this point, however the reader should understand that the tern to be language teachers. Those learning to teach – whether they new to the profession or experienced, whether in pre – or in – service contexts – are referred to as teacher learners.
                          The shifting ground of terminology has plagued L2 teacher education for at least the past 30 years. The four – word concept has tended to be an awkward integration of subject – matter and professional process. In this hybrid the person of the teacher and the processes of learning to teach have often been overshadowed. As the relative emphasis has shifted the focus among these four words has migrated from the consent, the ‘Second language’, to the person of the ‘teacher’, to the process of learning or ‘education’, thus capturing the evolution in the concept of L2 teacher education in the field. Until the latter half of the 1980, the emphasis was on the contributions of various academic disciplines e.g. :-
Linguistics, psychology and literature
To what made an individual an ‘L2 teacher’.
“The field of teacher education is a relatively
Underexplored one in both second and foreign
Language teaching. The literature on teacher
Education in language teaching is slight compared with
The literature on issues such as methods and
Techniques for classroom teaching”

·       The Gap Between Teacher Education And Teacher Learning :-

                    It is ironic that L2 teacher education has concerned itself very little with how people actually learn to teach. Rather, the focus has conventionally been on the subject matter – what teachers should know and to a lesser degree on pedagogy – how they should teach it. The notion that there is a learning process that undergirded, f not directs, teacher education is a very recent one. There are many reasons for this gap between teacher education and teacher learning. Some have to do with the research paradigms and methods that have been valued and used in producing our current knowledge. In the case of teacher education, there paradigms raise questions about how teaching is defined and studied in education and how teacher education inks to the study of teaching. Other reasons have to do with history. In the case of L2 teacher education these reasons have raised the issue of how the so – called ‘parent’ disciplines of applied linguistics – cognitive and experimental psychology – and first language (L1)acquisition have defined what language teachers need to know and be able to do. Still other reasons have had to do with professionalization and attempts to legitimize teaching through the incorporation of research – driven, as contrasted with practice – derived, knowledge to improve teaching performance.
·       Teacher Education From Knowledge Transmission To Knowledge Construction :-
                                      In general terms however it is fair to say that teacher education has been predicated on the idea that knowledge about teaching and learning can be transmitted through processes of organized professional education to form individuals as teachers. This knowledge has been broadly defined as consisting of subject matter and pedagogy. From this standpoint, pre – service teacher education programmers provide teacher – learners with certain knowledge – usually in the form of general theories about language learning prescriptive grammatical information about language, and pedagogical method – that will be applicable to any teaching context. Leaching, to teach has meant learning about teaching, usually in the context of the teacher education programme, and then actually doing it in another context. The bridge to practice has come in observing teachers and in practicing classroom teaching behaviors overtime in other classroom contexts during their first years of teaching.
                          There are many problems with this knowledge – transmission view. Principally, it depends on the transfer of knowledge and skills from the teacher education programme to the classroom in order to improve teaching. Thus, this view overlooks, or discounts the fact that the teacher learning takes place in on – the – job initiation into the practices of teaching. Further it does not account for what practicing teachers know about teaching and how they learn more through professional teacher education than they receive in – service, during their teaching careers.
                              Since the 1980s teacher education has moved from this view of knowledge transmission to one of knowledge construction in which teacher – learn build their own understanding of language teaching through their experience by integrating theory, research and opinion with empirical and reflective study of their own classroom practices. To understand this change from knowledge transmission to knowledge construction.
·       Background and Research
                               For many reasons there tended to be very little substantial research in teacher education, both in education generally and in the field of language teaching. From the 1960s to 1980s the process – product parading which dominated educational research focused researchers on how specific classroom or curricular processes generated particular learning outcomes or products. In language teaching throughout the 1970s, process – product research combined behaviorism to emphasis a view of teaching that focused on activity and technique. Effective classrooms were those in which teachers successfully applied learned behaviors to condition their student’s mastery of language forms. Teacher education if it was thought of at all, was viewed as a techniques undertaking of transmitting knowledge to modify teacher’s classroom behaviors and thus improve student learning. Indeed most teacher preparation in language teaching concentrated on literature; little attention was paid to classroom pedagogy. Thus, L2 teacher education was in many senses an invisible undertaking, unframed by its theory and undocumented by its own research.
·       The questions at stake are substantial :

1.     What is the nature of teaching and of teacher’s knowledge?
2.     How it is most adequately documented and understood?
3.     How is it created influenced or changed through the interventions of teacher education?
                   Although there were hundreds of studies reported which sought to assess the impact of training teachers to do particular things, very few researchers actually looked at the process of teacher education as it happened over time and at how teachers and student teachers interpreted and gave meaning to the pre – service and professional development program they experienced.

·        The Role of Input: Teacher Education strategies

                       As mentioned in the first section confusing nomenclature has been the Achilles heel of L2 teacher education. The clearest instance the co-mingling of the terms teacher training, teacher development and teacher education. Like, any form of the notion that some type of input is introduced or created which then has an impact on the learner. Further, input can be examined for what it is, its content and for how it is introduced or created the process used, and for the impacts or outcomes it generates. This tripartite organization of what is taught, how and to what effect can serve as a basic organizing frame to examine educational input. However it is important to note that some research on classroom teaching has raised complications with casting content and process – or subject-matter and teaching method- as independent of one another, by pointing out that from the student’s perspective the content or the lesson and how it is presented are often largely inseparable. Nevertheless, this tripartite structure of content process and outcome continues to be a useful way of thinking about input in teacher education.
                         In the case of L2 teacher education content and process combine to create two broad strategies for input: Teacher training and teacher development.
“In teacher training the content
Is generally defined externally
And transmitted to the teacher learner
Through various processes.”

Outcomes are assessed on external, often behavioral, evidence that the learner has mastered the content. In a typical postgraduate teacher education program, for example, the faculty defines the curriculum which teacher-learners must master. Often this language on learning on teaching and so on. The content may be presented through conventional processes- such as lectures, reading and the like- or through more participant-oriented processes – such as project work, case studies and so on. The assessment of impact is usually measured through some form of demonstration – such as exams academic articles or portfolios. In short term teacher training courses, the same broad typology holds.
                   In contrast in teacher development the content generally stems from the teacher learners who generate it from experience. Thus, the processes engage teacher learners in some form of sense making or construction of understandings out of what they already know and can do. Because it depends on teacher-learner generated understanding the impacts of teacher development are usually self-assessed through reflective practices. Typical teacher development activities can include teacher study group’s practitioner research or self-development activities. In a teacher study group for example, the triggered by a reading or other external input. The emphasis however is on how teacher-learners cannot the input to their own knowledge experience and ongoing practice. Assessment focuses on the value to teacher-learner of the development activity. Given the emphasis on teacher learner’s experiences, teacher development is generally viewed as an in-service strategy which can take advantage of the background and teachers. Ti is often used in the context of peer-led staff development, peer mentoring or coaching, and other self-organized actives.
                        There are several misconceptions that tend to surround these two strategies. First they are often presented as dichotomous and mutually exclusive, which they are not. Both training and development depend on information which is external to teacher-learners, when they then incorporate through internal process into their own thinking and practice. The distinction is training; the information usually originates from sources external to the teacher-learners. In development, the information is often externalized from the teacher-learner’s experiences through collaborative work, reflective processes and so on A second misconception is that training and development are often couched in sequential terms. Although it is true the training tends to be a pre-service strategy, while development is more widely used in in-service contexts, most effective L2 teacher education programmers blend the two. Finally the nomenclature is not strictly applied so people may speak of being.” teacher trainers’’ when in fact as teacher educators they use both strategies.   

·        The Role of Institutional Context : Teacher Education In Place

              Acknowledging the existence of prior knowledge in teacher education has led directly to serious reconsideration of the role of institutional contexts in learning to teach. Clearly teacher learner’s ideas about teaching stem from their experiences as students in the context of schools; similarly their new practices as teachers are also shaped by their institutional environments. The question is what is the role of schools in learning to teach? In general, little attention has been paid to how the sociocultural forces and values in there institutional environments can shape impede encourage or discourage new teachers pre-service teacher education has treated schools as places where teacher learners go to practice teaching in practice or internships, and eventually to work Classrooms students and schools have been seen as settings in which teacher-learners can implement what they are learning or have learned in formal teacher education. From a pre-service standpoint there assumptions and misconceptions have been rarely tested since teacher-learners leave their pro-grammas and go on to teach with- relatively little formal feedback on the validity of the connection. The dramatic attrition rate among, focused that teachers had ‘fitting into’ schools as institutions.

·        The Role of Time : Teacher education Over time

If schools as institutions provide teacher education with a context in space, teacher-learner’s personal and professional lives offer a similar context in and though time. Prior to the work of Lorie and other, the notion of teacher’s professional life spans was not a major concern. Major research and conceptualizations by Berliner, Huber man and others served to establish the concept of career. Further this work pointed to definite stages in the development of knowledge and practice which could inform teacher education practices. It is clear that at different professional interests and concerns. If for example as this research shows, novice teachers tend to be concerned with carrying out their images of teaching by managing the classroom and controlling students, it would perhaps make sense to focus professional support and in service education although not exclusively on these concern themselves with the purposes and objectives of their teaching and how they may be accomplishing them. Thus, in-service education which draws on development strategies of reflection, self-assessment, inquiry and practitioner research maybe more suited for these learners of teaching.

·        Conclusion

                 There has been an assumption in teacher education that the delivery of programmers and activities is the key to success. In this view, learning to teach is seen as a byproduct of capable teacher learners and teacher educators, and well – structured designs and materials. Thus, in a broad sense, teacher education has depended largely on training strategies to teach people how to do the work of teaching. Underlying there aspects of delivery, however, lies a rich and complex process of learning to teach. Focusing at this level on the learning process, as distinct from the delivery mechanisms, is changing our understanding of teacher education in important ways. This shift is moving l2 teacher education from its concern over what content and pedagogy teacher should master and how to deliver there in preparation and in-service programmer to the more fundamental and as yet uncharted questions of how language teaching is learned and therefore how it can best be taught. We know that teacher education matters; the question is how, and how to improve it.       


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