As mentioned in a previous blog post, I’m presenting some preliminary findings of my latest research project on learning to teach English pronunciation at the upcoming Applied Linguistics conference in Auckland, New Zealand (November 28, 2017). Here are the title and the abstract of the session:
Learning to Teach Pronunciation: A 4-Year Study
Research has provided evidence about the positive impact of second language teacher education (SLTE) on the practices, and beliefs and knowledge (i.e., cognition) of in-service and pre-service teachers (Busch, 2010; Farrell, 2009; Kurihara, 2013; Lee, 2015). Studies have also shown that preparing second language (L2) teachers to teach English pronunciation can be effective (Baker, 2011; Burri, 2015, Burri, Baker & Chen, 2017; Golombek & Jordan, 2005). However, research has yet to examine how novice L2 teachers’ pronunciation teaching practices develop longitudinally and how that development relates to their postgraduate studies. Such research is needed to demonstrate the long-term effectiveness of SLTE on teacher practice.
The longitudinal study presented in this session examines the cognition development of three instructors teaching English as an additional language in Australia following their study of a postgraduate subject on pronunciation pedagogy. Specifically, the research compares the teachers’ current pronunciation-oriented cognitions and classroom practices with the teachers’ previous cognitions about teaching pronunciation formed during their university study four years earlier. Questionnaires, interviews, assessment tasks, focus groups, and observations conducted during the participants’ postgraduate studies, as well as narrative frames (Barkhiuzen, 2014) to elicit participants’ perspectives on their current practices were collected and triangulated to compare data over a period of four years.
Findings showed that learning to teach English pronunciation is a dynamic, individual and non-linear process; one that goes beyond postgraduate education and well into L2 teachers’ professional career. Teachers reported using their classrooms knowledge about pronunciation acquired during their studies; yet, external factors exerted powerful influences on their practices. These factors limited teachers’ implementation of acquired knowledge, which led some of the teachers to return to practices and cognitions held prior to their postgraduate studies. The session concludes with a brief discussion of implications for SLTE.
I am a Lecturer in TESOL at the University of Wollongong in Australia. This blog is a reflection of my journey as a researcher, L2 teacher educator, and language teacher.