The potential of dialogic reflection to mediate development during pre-service SLTE
The development of a sociocultural view of teacher learning (Hobbs 2013) has stimulated an interest in, and began to illuminate, the role of talk in the process of second language teacher education (SLTE), especially during post-teaching feedback discussions (Mann 2005, Brandt 2006, Copland 2010). Indeed, from the field of teacher cognition, there are convincing theoretical arguments for making explicit learner teachers’ prior beliefs about the language learning and teaching process; in other words, for ensuring that in the design of pre-service ELT education, space is provided for learner teachers to talk about what they are experiencing (Johnson 2009). Such discourse is able to assist in bridging the theory-practice divide by allowing learner teachers to consider and review the declarative knowledge from their course of education in light of their classroom teaching and learning experiences. This presentation suggests ways in which an emphasis on dialogic interaction and exploratory talk during post-teaching feedback meetings can indeed benefit SLTE. How such an approach promotes long-term reflective practice and how inquiry-based talk raises awareness of the complexity involved in developing pedagogic expertise are also considered.
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