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ERIC Number: ED537863
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 255
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2671-3874-3
A Case Study of Conflicting Narratives of Language and Culture in a Foreign Language Teacher Education Program
Vasquez, Julian Andres
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Ohio State University
The goal of this qualitative research project is to analyze the narratives of a foreign language student teacher who decided to join a masters program to become a certified foreign language teacher in the American K-12 setting. The research focus of this study used Narrative Inquiry as applied to teacher education (Clandinin and Connelly, 1995, 2000) where researchers record the experiences of their participants to find the relevant narratives that contribute to the construction of the teacher identity of the individual. Narratives contribute to the construction of identity, which is defined as a series of reifying, significant, endorsable stories about a person (Sfard and Prusak, 2005) In nine months, the researcher performed as a student teacher supervisor, while collecting data from several sources, such as student teaching practicum observations, in classroom assignments, researcher and participant journals, informal conversations and semi-structured entrance and exit interviews. Although previous research revealed that individuals use their existing narratives to find a meaning of those new experiences they face, the additional narratives of language proficiency and foreign language culture added yet two more layers to the already complex narratives of good teaching, successful learning and assessment in the foreign language classroom. The process of identity transformation is greatly affected by how interns visualize their role as teachers and their knowledge of the foreign language. In addition, due to the different needs of each student teacher, as well as the beliefs and perceptions of the interns towards the teaching profession, student teachers usually build a personalized definition of identity that shares some common aspects from one teacher to the next, but will never be the same for two of them. At the same time, Sfard and Prusak (2005) support this notion when they define identities as a collection of narratives that are significant and relevant. In the field of teaching education, therefore, interns construct their identity by means of the significant stories that are relevant to their experiences in their professional lives, inside and outside of the classroom. Findings suggest that although the participant has the skills required to succeed in the teacher education program where the study took place, her conflicting narratives do not necessary equip her with the tools to succeed in the teaching world. In addition, there seems to be a conflict in the narratives of the organizations that teach languages at the undergraduate level and language teaching at the teacher education scenario. It is necessary then, for teacher education programs in general, to keep in mind those existing conflicts and mediate between the challenges prospective teachers will face when exposed to different narratives inside and outside of the teacher education context. At the same time, it is important for teacher education programs to keep in mind the differences in learning a language in context and teaching a foreign language in the harsh reality of the American K-12 classroom. A solution for this challenge requires a closer partnership between the fields of humanities, language teaching and foreign language teacher education, to help prospective teachers to succeed in the teaching world. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A