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Archived Content from Conference Held in May 1999 

Research and Practice in Language Teacher Education: Voices from the Field

First International Conference on Language Teacher Education

May 20 - 23, 1999
University of Minnesota

This first international conference on language teacher education brought together over 200 practitioners and researchers from around the world, including participants from Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The conference addressed the education of teachers of all languages, at all instructional and institutional levels, and in all of the varied national and international contexts in which this takes place, including:

  • ESL/EFL;
  • foreign/modern/world language teaching;
  • bilingual education;
  • immersion education;
  • indigenous and minority languages; and
    the teaching of less commonly taught languages

The conference brought together research, theory, and best practices from all these contexts, and initiated meaningful professional dialogue across languages, levels, and settings.

Selected papers from this conference are available free online through the CARLA Working Papers Series.


Johnston, B., & Irujo, S. (Eds.). (2001, May). Research and practice in language teacher education: Voices from the field. Selected papers from the First International Conference on Language Teacher Education (CARLA Working Paper Series #19). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition.

Conference Themes

Theme I: The Knowledge Base of Language Teacher Education

A central issue in language teacher education is the question of what constitutes the knowledge base of language teaching and how it relates to the processes and content of teacher education. This theme focused on:

  • teachers' knowledge and beliefs;
  • teacher learning in formal and informal contexts;
  • teachers' ways of knowing;
  • teacher socialization;
  • professionalism;
  • the nature of disciplinary knowledge.

Presentation Summary:


Theme II: Social, Cultural, and Political Contexts of Language Teacher Education

Language Teacher Education takes place in multiple contexts and with diverse populations, where language, culture and identity are intricately bound together. In recognition of these diverse contexts, theme papers provided critical and analytical perspectives on:

  • institutions, communities, and discourses within which teacher education practices are situated;
  • power, status, and authority and language teacher education;
  • diversity and equity in language teacher education, including issues of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and language;
  • the socially situated nature of language and learning.

Panel Presentation Summaries:

Theme III: Language Teacher Education Policy

Presenters focused on the formal and informal policies that influence the directions of teacher education, even though they may or may not involve the participation of teacher educators, at the local through the national level. Presentations examined:

  • standards;
  • legislative mandates;
  • teacher education program requirements;
  • recruitment and retention;
  • advocacy by language teacher organizations.

Panel Presentation Summaries:

Theme IV: Processes of Language Teacher Education

Within this major conference theme, presenters and participants together explored various aspects of:

  • program design;
  • curriculum;
  • pedagogical methods;
  • organization of instruction;
  • practica;
  • materials;
  • observation/supervision;
  • teacher professional development.

Panel Presentation Summaries:

Conference Planning Committee:
Bill Johnston, Chair (University of Minnesota)
Elizabeth Bernhardt (Stanford University), Maggie Hawkins (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Suzanne Irujo (Boston University), Karen Johnson (The Pennsylvania State University), Carol Klee (University of Minnesota), Diane Tedick (University of Minnesota), Constance Walker (University of Minnesota), Molly Wieland (Hopkins School District, Minnesota).


Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) • 140 University International Center • 331 - 17th Ave SE • Minneapolis, MN 55414