The seminar in Language Teacher Education and Development introduces participants to the theoretical, practical and research-based traditions underpinning this field. Starting from a perspective on teacher education which has emerged as common ground for the preparation of teachers in diverse disciplines around the world, the seminar delves into the major pedagogical principles historically shaping the curriculum that educational institutions have put into place to support teachers’ learning and development. The aforementioned general and global perspective merges with specific and local outlooks when the seminar gravitates towards the education of Nonnative English Speaker Teachers (NNESTs) in the Colombian context. While facilitating participants’ interaction with a representative body of knowledge in the field, the seminar’s structure and dynamics engages student teachers in critical reflection aiming at the design of context-sensitive teacher education experiences.
The course offers language teachers opportunities to:
- Raise critical awareness of pedagogical knowledge models in language teacher education
- Critically evaluate theories of teacher learning and pedagogical change and research.
- Develop a deeper understanding of approaches to language teacher education and development
- Evaluate seminal and current research in the field of teacher education and development
- Explore options for the design of curriculum to enhance teachers’ education and development in local contexts
- Propose research initiatives rooted in local teaching communities’ needs
- Gain knowledge and skills to keep building their profile as professional teacher educators
Since the implementation of the Programa Nacional de Bilingüismo (2004) (and the transformations it has had during these years: Programa de Fortalecimiento al Desarrollo de Competencias en Lengua Extranjera (2010), Ley de Bilingüismo 1651 (2013), Programa Colombia Bilingüe (2014), Programa Nacional de inglés Colombia very well (2015) and Colombia Bilingüe (2016)) Colombian scholars have been interested in exploring this policy around the country. Many scholarly articles have been written and today the academic community is better informed about bilingualism and bilingual education. However, it is very relevant, at the master’s level, to explore the issue in order to develop a body of knowledge (we will only scratch the surface of the matter in this class) that allow teachers and administrative stuff alike to set attainable goals for themselves and for their students. This course attempts to offer a space for debate and reflection on the topic and its implications for the teaching profession. It is important to add that the course has been designed under a critical perspective as a way to enhance participants’ views.
Examine different views on bilingual education in the globe and in Colombia.
- Develop a general understanding of the concepts of bilingualism and bilingual education.
- Be familiarized with different types of bilingual education.
- Analyze the current situation of the institutions where participants work under the lens of bilingual education and the policy in Colombia.
- Develop a critical stance towards the policy and its implementation
Reflective teaching is an approach which has gained significant momentum in language teaching. In his personal reflection about thirty years of TEFL/TESL, Richards (2015) contends that language teachers have moved away from a search of the perfect method and have shifted their attention to developing and exploring their own teaching through reflective teaching and action research.
Murphy (2001) points out that teachers can grow as professionals in different ways which let them look inward, both within themselves and within the courses they offer, to access information about what happens in their language classrooms. He asserts that a central reason to be interested in reflective teaching is to “gain awareness of our teaching beliefs and practices” and to learn “to see teaching differently, and to learn to take action in order to enhance the quality of learning opportunities we are able to provide in our classrooms.” He also claims that we should spend time and energy to develop understandings if we consider our continuing needs as teachers and the needs of the language learners we serve. Murphy poses three main purposes of reflective teaching (RT):
- To expand one’s understanding of the teaching learning process.
- To expand one’s repertoire of strategic options as a language teacher.
- To enhance the quality of learning opportunities one is able to provide in language classrooms.
Upon the satisfactory completion of the course, students should be able to:
- Identify the features of reflective thought.
- Become aware of the main theoretical tenets underlying RT.
- Make explicit their underlying beliefs, assumptions and principles they hold about their teaching
- Explore their teaching and reflect on their teaching principles and the teaching practices.
- Draw a metaphor about their teaching identities.
- Put into effect thoughtful reflection and professional dialogue on critical issues in education and
- Adopt courses of action to solve problems and to improve their teaching practices.
- Implement diverse RT tools as a way of exploring and keeping a record of their teaching experiences.
- Develop critical thinking towards the literature available on reflective teaching.
- Exchange their professional views and to give feedback each other.
- Conceptualize their professional identity by means of their internal narratives.
Since 1994, when the Ministry of Education in Colombia established as compulsory the teaching of a foreign language to children, teachers have been worried about the serious challenge it represents. University professors started to focus their research studies on this field, and the Foreign Language Programs to design their curriculums to fulfill these legal expectations. This course is intended for professionals who are interested in evaluating their current practices and exploring new ways of facilitating children the learning of English. Emphases are on child development and the implications in foreign language teaching, methodological principles to teach an L2 to children, lesson planning, strategies and techniques to promote interaction in the classroom and assessment processes. It will be structured around theoretical, practical and investigative components.
Upon satisfactory completion of this course, students are expected to:
- Explore and practice methodological principles to teach English to young learners that fulfil students’ needs in a real context.
- Demonstrate their ability to design lesson plans that stimulate the development of the communicative competence of children.
- Enhance the students’ understanding of the functions and types of assessment when evaluating children’s performance.
- Evaluate critically English language teaching practices in our context and propose solutions to overcome the weaknesses.
The teaching of English around the world has spread rapidly during the last 25 years. Many countries have implemented linguistic policies to promote the teaching of English in public education and from a very young age. From this world developments, scholars, teachers and researchers think and problematize naturalized and taken for granted discourses about the presence of English in the world. One of these problematized issues is English as an International Language. This course is set out to inquire on what the literature says about this issue and how distant or close it is to other labels like English as a Lingua Franca, or English as a Global Language.
To achieve that purpose, the course brings different voices that have tackled these topics in order to give participants different perspectives and points of analysis. By the end of the course students should have a good grasp of various concepts and be able to position themselves with their own views backed up by their critical appraisal of the literature studied in the course. Participants should be able to give their opinion of the issues involved and see themselves in their own situation as playing a part in the continuing development of this phenomenon and be able to decide how they intend to play out their part within their own context.
Topics for consideration will include language spread, shift and change; trends in the economy; standards for English as an International language; the advent of World Englishes; the relationship between language and culture; imperialism and identity crisis in ELT; the debate between native and non-native English teachers; language subordination; the role of English language teaching in the education of world citizens, the complexities of school practice in relating the conditions necessary for the developing of global minds in a knowledge society; changing ELT policies; challenges and opportunities for language teachers in a globalized world; job satisfaction and economic competitiveness; thinking global, acting local.
The ultimate purpose of understanding and analyzing world trends in the context of English language teaching is to prepare professionals to teach more effectively. At the end of this course, participants will be able to:
- Consider factors underlying the emergence and development of English as an International Language.
- Explore the teaching implications of the existence of different varieties of English.
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of current research literature in the field and a critical stance towards linguistic policies (overt or covert)
- Gain a deeper understanding of the social, political and economic reasons for variation in the contemporary teaching of English
- Acknowledge teachers’ practices, agency, and proactivity in the English language classroom.
- Be able to identify and deconstruct a relevant question for investigation related to the teaching of English as an International Language.
Didactics, as an integral part of Applied Pedagogy (Mallart (n.d)), takes care of the teaching-learning processes. Thus, it studies the type of didactic materials that should be used for the teaching-learning process to be present in the classroom. Due to the growing importance of materials development (MD, hereafter) as a research line, language teachers should look into the development of materials as both a field of study (a science), and a creative activity that has been growing for decades (Tomlinson, 2010). On the other hand, Applied Linguistics has recently identified within its domains, the development of materials as a broad open path to the study of how these socio-cultural artefacts contribute to the process of learning and teaching languages. Currently, researchers such as Neville (1991), Timmis (2002), Bolitho (2003), McDonough (2003), Maley (2003), Pulverness (2003), Sercu and Bandura (2005), Hurst (2006), Tomlinson (2008) and Núñez, Téllez, Castellanos and Ramos (2009), to cite some, have seen in MD, a field of study that goes beyond authors’ creativity and motivation to develop didactic materials at an instructional level. MD, as a field of study, demands a scientific methodology that allows validating the efficiency, appropriateness and relevance of materials within the context of learning a language.
Based on the aforementioned insights, this course presents the development of teaching and learning materials as a scientific activity that allows language teachers to assume a critical stance to approach the phenomenon of materials development from a more social and political viewpoints; to innovate through the development of contextualized or customized materials that complement textbooks or make up for the lack of them; and to enrich their teaching practice as well as to foster the creation of better teaching and learning settings. The course will be structured into four main components:(a) Theoretical foundations and practical insights for MD; Second Language Acquisition (SLA) Principles relevant to MD and principles for MD; authentic versus inauthentic materials in the teaching of English as a foreign language (EFL, henceforth); the systematic evaluation for the selection of materials to teach English; and current trends in syllabus design and MD. (b) Approaches to develop materials; addressing students' needs; the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL); approaches to the application of language learning strategies; the role of MD both in professional and personal development and in the instructional components of research projects; (c) The use of songs, laughter and riddles in the EFL classroom and In-house EGP and ESP materials for the teaching of English in the dual model. (d) The creation and adaptation of materials and course books for EFL and guidelines for the development of the pedagogical intervention of research projects.
Upon successful completion of this course, students are expected to:
- Become aware of the issues entailed in scientific activity of developing or adapting contextualised or customised materials to give them confidence in the process of decision making.
- Sharpen their insights regarding the theoretical foundations and the practical issues on what it takes to develop and evaluate language and teaching materials.
- Reflect upon their educational sceneries and their students’ needs as the onset for the creation of materials and transformation of the curriculum.
- Get acquainted with a rationale for the design
- Explore the use of a wide variety of tools and resources as a means to innovate in language teaching context.
This course offers an introduction to the use of technology, primarily digital, in the field of second and foreign language education. Participants explore the technologies, applications and tools available and consider models for their integration into language learning and teaching. Students review key terms and concepts related to new ICTs and L2 pedagogy, explore the historical evolution and the state of the art of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL), and discuss the benefits and implications of using technology in the language teaching process. On a more practical ground, students examine internet resources and design their own activities to incorporate in their L2 teaching. Course participants continually read and reflect upon current articles on key issues in the use of technology in language teaching. The ultimate goal of this course is to raise participants’ awareness in regards to the suitability of computer-and-web-based possibilities in order to respond to the new global and local demands in second language education.
- To understand the relationship between theories of SLA and CALL.
- To demonstrate basic knowledge, skills and understanding of operations and concepts related to technology in language teaching.
- To identify and locate technology resources, and evaluate them for accuracy and suitability in the context of second language learning.
- To create learning activities that promote the development of the four linguistic skills as well as the lexical and grammatical competences in the L2.
- To explore an area of research on the use of technologies in the field of EFL teaching.
The final thesis is a consolidation of the independent research study they have been working on since the second semester. This course is self-managed, under the guidance of a thesis advisor, and intended to build on knowledge and skills acquired from the previous research modules. The completion of the final thesis involves the identification of and critical analysis of a problem or question relevant to English language pedagogy, and an extensive exploration of relevant literature, including current research.
This course guides participants to build research knowledge as they navigate theoretical principles, reflect upon them and connect them with preparatory practices in seminar sessions, but most importantly with their own research work as they plan and implement concrete courses of action to answer their thesis research questions and to achieve their objectives. The course offers a myriad of tools and strategies to ensure participants can carry out the innovation stage derived from the diagnostic and planning stages they conducted in the previous course (Research Methods). They will refine preparations and conduct the action/intervention stage of their project, collect and analyze the data and start putting things together as a preparation for the write-up in the final course the following semester.
The course offers language teachers opportunities to:
- Assess research objectives and contexts in order to design suitable strategies that help course participants gain lawful access to research sites and potential population.
- Conceive, plan and implement the necessary research instruments for data collection.
- Analyze the information collected and work on the final findings and results.
- Develop understandings about how to write the research design, data analysis and conclusions chapters of their thesis.
This course is an introduction to the most common approaches used in EFL/ESL research, including qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods designs. We will pay particular attention to action research, to provide teachers with a reflection tool to improve their classroom practices. This course will cover topics such as: research paradigms, research designs, research problems, research questions, the role of the literature review, diagnostic evaluation of the research problem, planning research and application of an innovation to solve the problem (if applicable).
The course aims to offer participants opportunities to:
- Examine the main theoretical perspectives/paradigms/approaches in second language research.
- Identify the role of the research questions, methodology and literature review in the research process
- Enable students to prepare for a viable complete research design appropriate for M-level work