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ERIC Number: EJ1076516
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0026-7902
Reframing Teachers' Language Knowledge through Metaphor Analysis of Language Portraits
Coffey, Simon
Modern Language Journal, v99 n3 p500-514 Fall 2015
As theoretical developments in applied linguistics challenge the dominant mentalist framing of cognition as knowledge residing in the head, new ways of understanding and recording teachers' and students' engagement with languages are needed. Structural and competence-based formats for measuring proficiency posit an incremental model of learning as sequential mastery of language features acquired in a predictable order, but this is only one story of how languages are learnt. An alternative and emerging paradigm seeks to understand how different languages are experienced and appropriated subjectively in individual lives. In this article, I point to recent scholarship in language teacher education to show how critical language awareness entails reflecting not only on language content but also on perceptions of language(s) and language learning. I analyse a set of language portraits, produced in a workshop with teacher candidates, to demonstrate that language autobiographies, when used within a phenomenological perspective, elicit a broader reflexivity vis-à-vis teachers' own language learning history (plurilingual repertoire) through recourse to different metaphors that are both embodied and emotional. This reframing extends the research agenda into language teacher cognition by bringing into teacher education different modes of reflexivity to encourage a more nuanced picture of how individuals relate to and personally invest in languages.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A