Differences Between Teachers’ Experiences and Beliefs: In and Out-of-class Interaction in Second Language Learning Relations to Practice
A recent study of the relations between 28 Australian teachers of EAP (English for Academic Purposes) conceptions of in and out of class interactions and classroom practices uncovered differences between how these interactions were viewed in the second language learning/teaching process. While teachers’ conceptions of in-class interaction consistently related to teacher-training, their conceptions of outside interaction appeared to be strongly associated with their own experiences of learning and teaching a second language. Analysis of transcripts suggested that these conceptions exist in a hierarchal form thus; two categorical frameworks were developed to illustrate the range of variances in understanding. In comparing these frameworks a consistent relationship between teachers’ beliefs and classroom practices adopted was indicated. Notably, teachers who reported highly developed conceptions adopted teaching strategies believed to support learners’ deeper approaches to learning. Findings also suggest that teachers with more developed conceptions more actively integrated out-of-class interaction within the classroom context. Exploring the differences in teachers’ conceptions of these interactions and the individual experiences reported to link to conceptual development is clearly worthy of intense discussion.
Kimberly Bunts-Anderson (Australia)
Kimberly Bunts-Anderson is a PhD student in Linguistics at Macquarie University and part/time lecturer. She has worked as an ESL teacher in Australia and Japan and has conducted research into learners' conceptions of L2 learning and evaluations of overseas teacher training programs using Phenomenographic / Action Research methods. Currently, she is investigating relations between ESL teachers’ experiences of in and out-of-class interactions and classroom practice.
(30 min Conference Paper, English)