LTE 2019: Society, Identity, and Transformation in Language Teacher Education

Invited Speakers


Thursday Evening Keynote Presentation

The Promise of 'Disturbing Encounter' as Meaningful Language Teacher Education

Maggie Kubanyiova

Language learning happens across many sites of social interactions; those characterised by linguistic adventures and convivial acts of welcoming the stranger as well as those scarred by injustices, conflicts, and hostility towards those who are not like us. In the context in which the "first reflex" of mistrust of the Other (Kapuściński, 2009, p. 73) is gaining increasing currency as a legitimate way of being in the world, I ask what role language teacher education can or even should play in enabling alternative spaces in civil society; meeting points which allow differences to "encounter each other, adjust to each other, oppose each other, agree with each other and produce the unpredictable" (Glissant, 1996, p. 98). Along with Morrison (2017), I conceptualise these meeting points as "disturbing encounters" and propose that their capacity to disrupt one's certitude about Self and open a gateway into an active relationship with difference is central to meaningful language teacher education pedagogy. Reflecting on data-based vignettes from diverse contexts of language learning and use, building on insights from language teacher education research, philosophy, and the arts, and engaging in forms of creative practice, I explore the promise of "disturbing encounter" as pedagogy for socially responsive language teacher education.

Kubanyiova Presentation Slides (PDF)

Maggie Kubanyiova is Professor of Language Education and Director of the Centre for Language Education Research (CLER) at the University of Leeds. Her research concerns the role of language education across a diverse range of human relationships and interactions. She has researched language teachers' development in multilingual settings, language learners' lives across diverse contexts of L2 use, language learning opportunities in classroom discourse, moral and political dimensions of language teachers' work, and research ethics. Her publications include Teacher Development in Action (Palgrave, 2016), Motivating Learners, Motivating Teachers: Building Vision in the Language Classroom (Cambridge University Press, 2014; with Zoltán Dörnyei) and Language Teacher Cognition in Applied Linguistics Research: Revisiting the Territory, Redrawing the Boundaries, Reclaiming the Relevance (co-edited Special Issue of the Modern Language Journal, with Anne Feryok).

 

Conference Plenary Presentations

Shifting Perspectives in Language Teacher Education: Transformative Learning Theory for L2 Learning and Teaching

Cori Crane

The adult learning model of transformative learning (Mezirow, 1978) has gained increasing attention among language educators for its ability to explain moments of perspective-shifting, a process that involves deep, conscious decentering of the self from existing beliefs and values and that is often triggered by a "disorienting dilemma" leading to intense reflection (e.g., Johnson, 2015; Johnson & Nelson, 2010; King, 2000). Research on adult learning (Mezirow et al. 2009; Taylor et al. 2012) has shown that reflection on content and learning process plays a critical role in an individual's ability to shift initial taken-for-granted frames of reference and integrate this new knowledge into one's worldview. Familiarity with transformative learning theory can help language educators to not only identify perspective-shifting moments in their students' learning but also create learning conditions that facilitate new ways for L2 learners to think about themselves, their surroundings, and the target language.

This talk explores how a transformative learning lens can expand our understanding of the second language learning experience as well as the field of language teacher education. It presents current research on the experiences of collegiate foreign language learners and teachers to showcase the emergent transformational learning opportunities that occur in classroom settings from beginning to advanced L2 instructional levels and examines the role of structured reflection in particular as a tool for learners to articulate and question their assumptions.

Crane Presentation Slides (PDF)

Cori Crane is Associate Professor of the Practice and German Language Program Director in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature at Duke University. Her research interests closely align to her curriculum development and teacher mentoring work, with recent and current projects located in the areas of graduate student teacher education, reflective teaching and learning, and literacy-based instruction. She is co-editor (with Carl Niekerk) of Approaches to Ali and Nino: Love, Identity, and Transcultural Conflict (Camden House, 2017) and co-author (with Heidi Hamilton and Abigail Bartoshesky) of Doing Foreign Language: Bringing Concordia Language Villages to Language Classrooms (Prentice Hall, 2005). Her publications have appeared in L2 Journal, Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, Profession, and various AAUSC volumes.

 

History-in-Person and Teacher Development: Bringing the Past into the Present

Richard Donato

How are novice teachers' classroom discursive practices influenced by history-in-person processes? In this plenary, the concept of history-in-person will be presented and related to teacher development, specifically the development of novice teacher's instructional talk-in-interaction. Thought-based and practice-based data sources of two novice teachers will be presented to understand how history is brought into the present in complex and unpredictable ways resulting in, at times, debatable discursive practices. Thus, both personal history and institutional constraints must figure into interpretations of why novice teachers interact with classes in the ways they do and in supporting beginning teachers' understanding of classroom talk. 

Donato Presentation Slides (PDF)

Richard Donato is Professor and Chair of the Department of Instruction and Learning at the University of Pittsburgh and holds joint appointments in the Departments of French and Italian, Hispanic Languages and Literatures, and Linguistics. His research interests include early foreign language learning, sociocultural theory, classroom discourse analysis, and teacher education. His research on foreign language education earned him the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages/Modern Language Journal Paul Pimsleur award (1997 and 2006), the Northeast Conference Freeman Award (2004), and the French Institute of Washington Award (2003). In 2016, he won the University of Pittsburgh's Provost award for doctoral student research mentoring. He is the co-author of the books A Tale of Two Schools: Developing Sustainable Early Language Programs (2010) and Enacting the Work of Language Teaching: High Leverage Teaching Practices (2017).

 

Race and Empire in Language Teacher Education

Suhanthie Motha

As teacher educators practice our craft, the contexts of our work frequently obscure the complex ways in which race, empire, and colonization are woven through the fabric of contemporary language teaching, sometimes leading us to unwittingly reproduce in our teacher education classrooms the very ideologies we seek to reject. At the same time, because they are inherently sites of hope and possibility for the future, teacher education settings may be the spheres that hold the most promise for undoing the harm that centuries of colonialism and racism have inflicted on our schools. This presenter asks how we might unlock the potential held by teacher education by exploring possible alternatives to teaching identities that are embedded in a history of inequitable global racial power and to forms of knowledge production and transmission that are steeped in colonial reasoning. She examines how these connect to institutional practices that naturalize the perpetuation of racial inequities in language teaching. 

Suhanthie Motha is Associate Professor and teacher educator in the English Department at the University of Washington. Her research explores the centrality of race and empire within the workings of the discipline of applied linguistics and the English language teaching industry. She is the author of Race, Empire, and English Language Teaching, which won the American Educational Studies Association (AESA) Critics' Choice Book Award and the Comparative and International Education Society's (CIES) Globalization and Education SIG's Book Award. Her work has been published in journals including TESOL Quarterly, Modern Language Journal, Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, Race Ethnicity and Education, Peace and Change, and Language Teaching, and in edited collections representing a range of areas.

 

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