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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24805

Title: Learning about Otherness: A Comparative Analysis of Culture Teaching and its Impact in International Language Teacher Preparation
Authors: Lawrence, Geoffrey P. J.
Advisor: Gagne, Antoinette
Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Keywords: culture teaching
teacher education
teacher preparation
L2 teacher education
L2 teacher preparation
teacher training
teacher education impact
international language
foreign language
teacher beliefs
teacher beliefs change
international language teaching
foreign language teaching
initial teacher education
mixed methods
international language teacher preparation
foreign language teacher education
Issue Date: 30-Aug-2010
Abstract: Second/international language (L2) education contexts are increasingly recognized as fertile ground for the learning about “otherness”, teaching a new linguistic code and another way of seeing the world. This study contrasts how culture teaching beliefs and visions develop among new secondary school international language teachers in curriculum/methodology classes in two distinct teacher preparation programs. Using a comparative, multi-case study approach with a mixed methods design, this research uses complementary data sources including three repeated questionnaires, individual, focus group interviews and classroom observations to examine changes in culture teaching beliefs/visions. The research was informed by a sociocultural perspective in teacher education, a proposed model of teacher education impact and current thinking in culture and intercultural learning including Byram’s (1997) framework of intercultural communicative competence and post-modernist definitions of culture. Comparisons between the teacher educators involved show that culture teaching practices are strongly situated in historically embedded paradigms, contextual constraints of learning environments and framed by practitioners’ culture teaching beliefs. Findings indicate that teacher candidates’ culture teaching beliefs and visions evolve on individual pathways, depend on reflection, and are firmly rooted in previous beliefs about culture and L2 learning. Teacher education practices in these programs prompted both a facilitative and tempering effect on teacher candidate culture teaching beliefs and visions. Enthusiasm and curiosity about culture teaching increased and some teacher candidates saw culture teaching having perspective-changing benefits. Alternatively, many teacher candidates began to see increased complexity with culture teaching leading to insecurity about culture teaching knowledge and cultural credibility. Teacher candidates cited increased awareness of curricular and time constraints, concerns with stereotypes, the daunting breadth of culture and a lack of culture teaching models. Teachers with the most teaching and “living away” experience exhibited more culture teaching familiarity. Despite a brief appearance of some intercultural approaches, an instructivist approach working with the material dimension of the target culture dominated teachers’ culture teaching visions. Implications include rethinking the structure of L2 teacher preparation programs to provide more critical, ethnorelative reflection on culture, teacher identity, and to situate and operationalize culture teaching in teacher beliefs and experiences.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24805
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning - Doctoral theses

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