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Archived Content from Conference Held in May 2003 

Creating Teacher Community:
Third International Conference on Language Teacher Education


Summary of Theme IV Plenary Presentation:
"Australian Teachers' Experiences of Language Learning and Their Effect on Practice"

Michèle de Courcy, The University of Melbourne, May 30, 2003

In this presentation, I will commence by outlining how our ways of knowing the world influence our research and teaching. Then I will give two illustrations of what I believe to be problematic in research and pedagogy in second language education at the moment. This will lead into a discussion of possibilities of different ways of doing research into the learning of second languages, and what my research has revealed. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of the influence of teachers' direct experience of learning a new language on their beliefs about language pedagogy.



Michèle de Courcy
Senior Lecturer in TESOL, Department of Language Literacy, and Arts Education,
University of Melbourne, Australia

After completing her BA in French and Music at the University of Queensland, Michèle de Courcy traveled to France to work as an Assistante de Langue Anglaise in Bordeaux, and then worked in Edinburgh, Scotland, for two years before returning to Australia. She taught French, Music, English and Geography in high schools in several Australian states before moving into tertiary ESL and language teacher training and education. Her research, teaching and publications center on bilingual education with an emphasis on second language acquisition processes and content-based language instruction.

Her Masters and Doctoral theses, undertaken at Griffith University, were conducted in late immersion schools in Queensland and she has published widely on immersion education in Australia. Recent projects have been commissioned evaluations of French and Indonesian immersion programs in Victoria. She is currently working with colleagues on a longitudinal project investigating language acquisition and cultural adaptation of Iraqi refugees in a regional setting.

Michèle has recently returned to work at the University of Melbourne as a Senior Lecturer in TESOL in the Faculty of Education. Previous appointments have been as a Senior Lecturer in Literacy and TESL at LaTrobe University, Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at Melbourne, Lecturer in TESOL at the University of Canberra, and Lecturer and Research Assistant at Griffith University.

Her principal leisure activities include choral singing, cross country skiing, and helping out on the family olive farm in Central Victoria (though there is some question as to whether this last consitutues 'leisure').


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