Course module - The Education of Language Teachers
Code : EDUC70130 (MD7132) Credit rating: 15 Semester : both
This unit aims to:
initiate, or further develop, professional competence in the area of language teacher education with an increased awareness of the complexity of providing training or development opportunities for teachers that are appropriate to local educational contexts;
develop participants skill in critically reflecting on their previous teaching or teacher education experiences, whether as learners, teachers, trainees or trainers, in the light of research, theory, and current areas of debate in language teacher education;
develop a knowledge and understanding of past and current theories of, and research into, language teacher education and the skills of relating that theory and research to particular teacher education contexts;
facilitate the continuing theorisation of teacher education praxis.
Knowledge and understanding
demonstrate a general knowledge and understanding of theories of, and research into, language teacher education;
understand how particular contexts will require particular approaches;
understand the importance of the teacher educator modelling desired behaviour.
Critically reflect on personal teaching or training experiences and their appropriateness for particular educational contexts;
demonstrate skills in applying knowledge and understanding to the analysis and evaluation of the content and process of specific language teacher education course components and/or materials for language teacher education;
interact critically with the literature of the field, including its socio-political aspects.
engage in professional self-development activities and facilitate these for others;
undertake an analysis of the training and/or development needs of a particular group of trainees or teachers;
adapt and/or develop appropriate content and processes for course components and/or materials for a particular group of trainees or teachers.
Transferable skills and personal qualities
On successful completion of this course unit, participants should have developed:
Enhanced skills in academic literacies including academic presentation, information processing (on- and off-line) and online networking;
Enhanced skills in using information and communication technologies (ICT);
Enhanced skills in interpersonal and intercultural communication;
Enhanced skills in team work and collaborative practice;
An appreciation of the value of reflection in professional practice; and
Autonomy and enhanced meta-cognitive strategies with regard to study skills and further professional development.
Describe a TESOL situation of which you have experience and analyse it in such a way as to highlight a particular aspect of that situation that you think merits the focus of your attention in terms of teacher training, education, and/or development. (You may focus on a goal that you would wish to achieve, a problem that you would wish to solve, an opportunity that you would wish to take, a need that you would wish to meet, or any one of a number of such possible focuses.)
Present an appropriate response to this aspect of the situation. You must justify your ideas with regard to the literature and you must explain explicitly how these ideas are put into practice. Both your arguments and your procedures must be clearly appropriate to the situation that you have described. We recommend that the detail of this response, both with regard to justification and implementation, should take up approximately half of the assignment.
Finally, you need to evaluate your response. If you have had the opportunity to try out your suggestions, draw on your experience and present your evidence. If you have not had the opportunity to try out your suggestions, explain how you would evaluate their success if you did have the opportunity; in other words, define your criteria.
Give your assignment a title that clearly communicates its focus in terms of action.
The assignment should be three and a half thousand words long (plus or minus 10%), not including references or any appendices that you wish to add. Please include a word count at the end of your text.
Direct teaching input - 12x 2 hour sessions = 24
Directed online study - 34 (Distance Learning - 48)
Independent reading - 35 (Distance Learning - 35)
Proposed tasks, including online forum exchange/collaborative activity - 30 (Distance Learning - 40)
Tutorials - 2 2
Assessment - 25 (Distance Learning - 25)
The course unit begins by introducing key concepts in teacher education, including distinctions between teacher education, teacher training, and teacher development, as well as competing theoretical models of teacher education. It then moves on to a consideration of the importance of context in teacher education and of the exploration of such context through reflective practice and action research. An extended unit of work introduces a scheme of self-development which participants can utilise both during the course and afterwards. The knowledge base of teacher education is then debated, along with perspectives on teacher learning. A series of units cover the themes of course design and evaluation, observation and feedback, language awareness, and critical pedagogy. The final unit reviews the course in terms of participant outcomes from the perspectives of pre-service and in-service teacher education
The course content mixes seminar-type input (delivered in the case of distance participants via on-line materials, including video), small group work in various formats, case studies, guided reading, participant-led discussions (open to participants both on-site and in-context), reflective tasks, workshops, and a variety of demonstration processes.
The following text takes further many of the themes raised in this Course Unit:
Edge, J. 2011. The Reflexive Teacher Educator in TESOL: Roots and Wings. New York: Routledge.
The following text provides the basis for a series of videoed commentaries designed to encourage critical engagement with the literature:
Richards, J.C. and T.S. Farrell (2005). Professional Development for Language Teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
A good recent overview collection of papers is:
Burns, A. & Richards, J. (eds.) (2009). The Cambridge Guide to Second Language Teacher Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Depending on the interests that participants have or develop, the following texts are also highly recommended:
Burns, A. (1999). Collaborative Action Research for English Language Teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Edge, J. (ed.) (2001). Case Studies in TESOL: Action Research. Alexandria, VA: TESOL Inc.
Edge, J. (2002). Continuing Cooperative Development: A Discourse Framework for Individuals as Colleagues. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Gebhard, J. and R. Oprandy (1999). Language Teaching Awareness: A Guide to Exploring Beliefs and Practices. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Johnson, K. (2009). Second Language Teacher Education: A Sociocultural Perspective. New York: Routledge.
Johnson, K. (ed.) (2000). Case Studies in TESOL: Teacher Education. Alexandria, VA: TESOL Inc.
Parrott, M. (1993). Tasks for Language Teachers: A Resource Book for Training and Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Richards, J.C. and D. Nunan (eds.) (1990). Second Language Teacher Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Roberts, J. (1998). Language Teacher Education. London: Edward Arnold.
Tedick, D. (ed.) (2005). Second Language Teacher Education: International Perspectives. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Ur, P. (1996). A Course in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wajnryb, R. (1992). Classroom Observation Tasks: A Resource Book for Language Teachers and Trainers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wallace, M.J. (1991). Training Foreign Language Teachers: A Reflective Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
The main journals referred to are ELT Journal and TESOL Quarterly. Electronically available articles are recommended on a unit-by-unit basis.