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ERIC Number: ED554395
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 227
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-9258-6
Learning to Teach a Foreign Language: A Student Teacher's Role Identity Negotiation
Martel, Jason Peter
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Minnesota
Traditional foreign language remains a conservative and underdeveloped subject. Change-promoting efforts like ACTFL's National Standards have had a limited impact on teachers' pedagogies (Glisan, 2012), and program-exiting student proficiency levels remain relatively low (CASLS, 2010). Given the reciprocal shaping relationship between identities and classroom practices (Kanno & Stuart, 2011), documenting the ways in which budding teachers construct their identities may help in supporting the implementation of much needed educational innovations. Using symbolic interactionism (Reynolds & Herman-Kinney, 2003) and teacher socialization (Zeichner & Gore, 1990) as complimentary theoretical lenses, the present study adds to the paltry amount we know about foreign language teachers' identity development. It employs ethnographic methods associated with qualitative case study to deeply explore the identity construction processes of a student teacher seeking Spanish licensure in a preparation program that emphasizes content-based instruction (CBI). Data sources include interviews, classroom observations, digital journal reflections, documents, and post-observation conference recordings. Findings show that the participant negotiated her identity at the interface of competing messages from significant others (e.g., students, university supervisors, mentor teachers) in her preparation program and student teaching placements and that she demonstrated agency in appropriating or rejecting these messages. She grappled with two principal "designated" (Sfard & Prusak, 2005) identities encoded in these messages: (a) provider of target language input and (b) enactor of a particular approach to foreign language teaching. It also surfaced that she left the program with a weaker Spanish teacher role identity than when she started, which may be attributed to concerns she had with her Spanish proficiency, a strained connection with her secondary-level students, and the lack of opportunities for validating her Spanish teacher role identity--i.e., for inhabiting the role in a comfortable fashion that reinforced a positive sense of self. Important discussion topics for foreign language teacher educators stem from these findings concerning student teaching placement timing, mentor choice, and opportunities for developing language skills. Above all, they call us to ponder the following question: How can we as teacher educators support student teachers in constructing the identities they want to have for themselves as new foreign language teachers, all while encouraging them to acquire identity positions that improve the state of foreign language teaching? [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