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Archived Content from Conference Held in May 2003 

Creating Teacher Community:
Third International Conference on Language Teacher Education

May 29 - 31, 2003
Radisson-Metrodome Hotel
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Designed for practitioners and researchers involved in the preparation and ongoing professional development of language teachers, this conference addressed the education of teachers of all languages, at all instructional and institutional levels, and in all the many national and international contexts in which this takes place.

The contexts addressed included:

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

The conference goals were to:

  • bring together research, theory, and best practices from all these contexts
  • initiate and sustain meaningful professional dialogue across languages, levels, and settings.

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


Bigelow, M., & Walker, C. (Eds.). (2004). Creating teacher community: Selected papers from the Third International Conference on Language Teacher Education (CARLA Working Paper Series #24). 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 will include research and perspectives on: teachers’ knowledge and beliefs; teacher learning in formal and informal contexts; teachers’ ways of knowing; teacher socialization; professional development; and the nature of disciplinary knowledge.

Keynote Speaker:
Claire Kramsch, "What Language Teachers Need to Know"

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. These contexts are often impacted by actions taken by formal and informal decision-making bodies, which may or may not involve the participation of teacher educators. This theme will include critical and analytical perspectives on: institutions, communities, and discourses within which teacher education practices are situated; language education policy and planning; power, status, and authority in 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; and issues related to policy, such as standards, legislative mandates, recruitment and retention, and advocacy by language teacher organizations.

Theme II Plenary Presentation:
Bonny Norton, "Language Teacher Education as Critical Practice"

Theme III: Collaborations in Language Teacher Education

A key element in teacher development is effective collaboration between those individuals and institutions preparing teachers and their professional counterparts currently engaged in language teaching and learning. This theme examined: ways in which teacher education recognizes the shared development of professionals; models or structures of collaboration that stress ongoing teacher development including mentoring and professional development schools; examples of and/or research on collaboration in which teacher development and research inform each other; and research, projects, or practices that recognize teacher expertise and the teacher voice as pivotal in addressing issues of language teaching and learning.

Theme III Plenary Presentation:
Lily Wong Fillmore, "High Stakes Testing and ELLs - What support is needed to survive and succeed?"

Theme IV: Processes of Language Teacher Education

The processes of language teacher education refer to the ways in which the knowledge base is conceptualized and operationalized in teacher preparation and professional development. This theme examined program design; curriculum models; pedagogy; teacher assessment; organization of instruction; field experiences; observation/supervision; self-study of practice; and action research.

Theme IV Plenary Presentation:
Michèle de Courcy, "Australian Teachers' Experiences of Language Learning and Their Effect on Practice"

Conference Planning Committee
Martha Bigelow, Chair (University of Minnesota)
Tina Edstam (Minnesota State University – Mankato), Tara Fortune (University of Minnesota), Mari Haas (Teachers College, Columbia University), Karen Johnson (The Pennsylvania State University), Bill Johnston (Indiana University), Carol Klee (University of Minnesota), Anne Lazaraton (University of Minnesota), Patricia Thornton (University of Minnesota), Constance Walker (University of Minnesota).



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