Farrell (2015) suggests that second language teacher education (SLTE) often lacks effectiveness in preparing second language (L2) instructors. He argues that programs do not prepare “teacher learners adequately about how to deal with the realities of teaching in the classroom” (p.2). Farrell proposes for programs to align their content with prospective L2 teachers’ needs more closely to ensure that content presented to student teachers was relevant to their future teaching contexts. He goes on to say that L2 teacher educators should continue monitoring the development of graduates’ pedagogical skills once they are teaching in their L2 classrooms. This would allow teacher educators to create cases of practicing instructors that could then be incorporated into SLTE programs to facilitate reflection and student teacher learning. Exploring these cases would enable future teachers to attain insights into the realities, challenges, and issues that are typically involved in L2 classroom teaching.
I like Farrell's suggestions, as they resonate with one of my ongoing research projects. In this longitudinal study I am exploring how L2 teachers’ pronunciation teaching practices and their current beliefs and knowledge (i.e., cognitions) about English pronunciation relate to what they learned during a graduate course on pronunciation pedagogy. Examining this connection should yield important insights into L2 teacher learning and into the effectiveness of SLTE. I am presenting preliminary findings of this research at the Applied Linguistics conference in Auckland, New Zealand (November 2017). It would be great to see some of you there, but in case you cannot make it to Auckland, I am going to make the presentation abstract available on my blog a couple of weeks prior to the conference.
Farrell, T. S. C. (2015). Second language teacher education: A reality check. In T. S. C. Farrell (Ed.), International perspectives on English language teacher education: Innovations from the field (pp. 1-15). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
I am a Lecturer in TESOL at the University of Wollongong in Australia. I blog about L2 learning, L2 teaching, L2 teacher education, and research.