Theory and practice reflected in interaction in the Scottish Modern Languages classroom: four early career Modern Languages teachers' ideal-selves stories

Valdera-Gil, Francisco Javier (2020) Theory and practice reflected in interaction in the Scottish Modern Languages classroom: four early career Modern Languages teachers' ideal-selves stories. Ed.D thesis, University of Glasgow.

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In Second Language Acquisition (SLA) theory, Modern Language (ML) classroom research is characterised by interaction analysis and anthropological observation, with the aim to interpret the complexity of learning processes ‘inside the black box’. Yet, most of the recent interaction analysis which underpins SLA theory takes place in laboratory studies - outside the black box intending to replicate the conditions for learning inside the black box. The first aim of this thesis was to see whether SLA interaction theory was consonant with the observed ML secondary Scottish schools classrooms. I observed four early career ML teachers in four comprehensive secondary schools over a year. Linked to the first aim, as a teacher educator I was also interested in their Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) development in terms of interaction in the target language. Semi-structured formal and informal interviews sought to elicit the four teachers’ perceptions of their PCK development in Communicative Teaching. Dörnyei’s Principled Communicative Approach (2009a) and Gass and Mackey’s Interaction Approach (2006) provided frameworks to explore the ways in which SLA theory was consonant with these four teachers’ practices. For the second research aim, I created an Early Career ML Teacher Development Framework to look into the four teachers’ pedagogical development. The study showed that SLA interaction theory was consonant with the studied classrooms, but with some caveats: I coined the term ‘ping-pong’ to capture the interaction observed, as an alternative to the IRF/IRE frameworks. In the field of SLA theory in the post-method era, the findings provide an important contribution to the understanding of the impact the alignment of Curriculum, Assessment and Pedagogy has in ML learning; the significance of the flow of language skills for classroom interaction and the role of target language use within Assessment is for Learning pedagogy. In the field of ML early career PCK development in interaction, this study is of great importance as it has provided a deep and detailed investigation of teachers’ interaction over one year, and it explored their development of understanding of the concepts underpinning their practices. The findings highlight the importance of agency and professional space as these aspects were crucial for the emergence of ML PCK in the field of interaction. This research has important implications for those involved in teacher education as well as teachers, schools and policy makers.

Item Type: Thesis (Ed.D)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Interaction in the target language, Modern Languages teacher education, Modern Languages learning and teaching, teacher conceptual development.
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Crichton, Dr. Hazel and Hedge, Professor Nicky
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Dr F J Valdera Gil
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81872
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2021 14:00
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2022 15:42
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.81872

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