Reflection: A Tool in Learning to Teach for Foreign Language Student Teachers

Reflection: A Tool in Learning to Teach for Foreign Language Student Teachers

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In foreign language education, reflection is endorsed as a cognitive catalyst in learning to teach (Richards, 1990, The Language Teaching Matrix. New York: Cambridge University Press). However, foreign language teacher educators know little about how reflection is utilized by student teachers in learning to teach foreign languages (Freeman a Johnson, 1998, TESOL Quarterly, 32 (3), p. 397-417). Much of what is known derives from general education research, where it is recognized that learning to teach involves construction of a unique teaching knowledge base that is meaningful for each student teacher (Shulman, 1987, Harvard Educational Review, 57, 1-22). However, the role of reflection as a meaning-making process for foreign language student teachers is not clear, as few scholars have examined the meaning-making inherent in reflection (Raymond, 2000, Unpublished dissertation. Columbus, Ohio: The Ohio State University). Data analysis for this study was accomplished employing Gee's discourse analysis (2005, An introduction to discourse analysis: theory and method, 2nd ed., New York: Routledge) and scrutinized language used in electronic journal entries to create qsituated meaningq. This discourse analysis method may be appropriate for research on foreign language pedagogy, as it recognizes the interactive role of cultural models and reflection in creating situated meaning. This qualitative study examined how three student teachers in a foreign language teacher education program used reflective journal writing to form meaningful connections between their existing knowledge and the events of their student teaching practice. The study found a cyclical pattern of reflection as a tool in both critical and creative thinking (Bloom, 1956, In B.S. Bloom, (ed.), Taxonomy of educational objectives, the classification of educational goals---Handbook I: Cognitive domain. New York: McKay) for interconnecting abstract and concrete experience and concepts. The study also provided insights about fostering meaning making as a factor in professional growth through collaborative journal review by student teachers and supervisors. Furthermore, the participants insisted that having the opportunity to revisit their reflection during the interview was beneficial to them for the formulation of new perspectives. Therefore, the study recommends that student teachers revisit and discuss reflective journal entries with their supervisors to explore intended meaning.[Participant] My early language learning experiences, um, well, I began learning Spanish in seventh grade. So I took Spanish I over two years.... it was, a lot of hands-on, um, I remember a lot of Spanish was used, um, it certainly wasn a#39;t exclusively in ... So, um, She was the first reason that I really wanted to go into teaching and then, also my trip to Mexico, uh, two summers ago, I studied abroad anbsp;...

Title:Reflection: A Tool in Learning to Teach for Foreign Language Student Teachers
Author: Jane Louise Hanson
Publisher:ProQuest - 2008

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