Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Galguera: Developing Teachers’ Critical Language Awareness in Digital Contexts

Galguera, T. (2013). Developing Teachers’ Critical Language Awareness in Digital Contexts. In M. B. Arias & C. J. Faltis (Eds.), Academic Language in Second Language Learning (pp. 103–124). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.


p. 105: Evidence from my research points to the power of electronic media and Web 2.0 tools in fostering critical language awareness, empathy, and in furthering pedagogical skills for language development among preservice teachers.

p. 105: For teachers responsible for the language development of students, language awareness is an important contributor to the development of the content knowledge (Shulman, 1987) they must possess to fulfill their obligations.

p. 106: Carter (2003) argues that, for teachers, language awareness can enhance their capacity to incorporate useful and meaningful learning tasks into their curricula, guide their assessment of students' learning and difficulties, inform their understanding of language varieties and appropriateness, and help them imagine links between language and learning in general.

Understanding the sociocultural and discourse-level features of the variety of language favored in academic settings is an essential component of the content knowledge required of teachers.

p.107: Building upon Lee Shulman's framework, Galguera uses "Pedagogical Language Knowledge" (PLK) (Galguera, 2011) as a construct to make it clear to the preservice teachers in my courses that the pedagogy I want them to begin developing is more than "just good teaching." Indeed, in a similar manner in which we must make a conscious effort to focus our attention on the structural and surface features of language, beyond meaning, it requires especial effort on the part of beginning teachers to notice the important, yet subtle characteristics of pedagogy for the development of language proficiency for academic purposes.

p109: Tigchelaar and Korthagen (2004, pp. 665-666) note that the predominant approach in preservice teacher education courses, a "technical-rationality approach," which aims to link theory-to-practice. The authors cite convincing research evidence that demonstrates that, even when student teachers recognize the value and importance of theories, the demands and immediacy of field experiences limit their ability to apply their theoretical knowledge to practice.

Tigchelaar and Korthagen also mention an alternate "practice-based" approach that depends on guided induction of teacher candidates at school sites, sometimes in partnership with institutions of higher learning. Yet, this approach has also failed to integrate practice with theory, often resulting in teachers who are socialized into a profession that is viewed as a collection of technical know-how that rejects and devalues theory.

Tigchelaar and Korthagen's (2004) provide evidence for the potential of experience in preservice teacher preparation utilizing a "realistic approach" that incorporates preservice teachers' reflection on specific experiences and behaviors in a cooperative setting while examining "Gestalts," which are automatic teaching behaviors that make up the bulk of what teachers say and do and that have cultural origins (p. 677)

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