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Professional development of future foreign language teachers during short-term exchanges

Professional development of future foreign language teachers during short-term exchanges The purpose of this paper is to analyze the self-perceived influence of short-term exchanges in schools abroad on future foreign language teacher’s professionalization, regarding professional values and pedagogy and practice. It grasps students’ changes in the perception of values attached to short-term exchanges in a professional setting.Design/methodology/approachIn the scope of the European project SPIRAL, four prospective foreign language teachers attended a two-week internship at schools in another country. This paper explores, resorting to a combined content and discourse analysis, their letters of motivation (two months before the exchange), emails sent individually to the local coordinator (one week after the arrival) and a focus-group interview (two months after the arrival).FindingsFuture foreign language teachers change their focus when referring to the values attached to their experiences at schools abroad: from an initial focus on language skills improvement, they come to value the intercultural pedagogic experience they lived, focusing on differences and similarities between professional values and pedagogical practices across the contexts.Practical implicationsA generalized introduction of professional exchange programs, both in pre-service and continuing teacher education, could improve teachers’ perceptions of global structural, educational, political and curricular contexts and demands. It would also help the teachers decenter from educational practices and professional habitus taken for granted, and raise their awareness of what it means to be educated and professionalized in other contexts.Originality/valueFew studies have focused on short-term exchanges and their impact on teachers’ professional development. The present paper highlights the pedagogical, intercultural and identity-building potential of short-term exchanges in foreign language teacher education. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png On the Horizon Emerald Publishing

Professional development of future foreign language teachers during short-term exchanges

On the Horizon , Volume 26 (2): 10 – Oct 22, 2018

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References (15)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1074-8121
DOI
10.1108/oth-11-2017-0091
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the self-perceived influence of short-term exchanges in schools abroad on future foreign language teacher’s professionalization, regarding professional values and pedagogy and practice. It grasps students’ changes in the perception of values attached to short-term exchanges in a professional setting.Design/methodology/approachIn the scope of the European project SPIRAL, four prospective foreign language teachers attended a two-week internship at schools in another country. This paper explores, resorting to a combined content and discourse analysis, their letters of motivation (two months before the exchange), emails sent individually to the local coordinator (one week after the arrival) and a focus-group interview (two months after the arrival).FindingsFuture foreign language teachers change their focus when referring to the values attached to their experiences at schools abroad: from an initial focus on language skills improvement, they come to value the intercultural pedagogic experience they lived, focusing on differences and similarities between professional values and pedagogical practices across the contexts.Practical implicationsA generalized introduction of professional exchange programs, both in pre-service and continuing teacher education, could improve teachers’ perceptions of global structural, educational, political and curricular contexts and demands. It would also help the teachers decenter from educational practices and professional habitus taken for granted, and raise their awareness of what it means to be educated and professionalized in other contexts.Originality/valueFew studies have focused on short-term exchanges and their impact on teachers’ professional development. The present paper highlights the pedagogical, intercultural and identity-building potential of short-term exchanges in foreign language teacher education.

Journal

On the HorizonEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 22, 2018

Keywords: Professional development; Pre-service teacher education; Foreign language teachers; Short-term exchanges

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