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Voice and Vision in Language Teacher Education:

2005 Conference on Language Teacher Education

Summary of Theme IV Plenary Presentation:
"(Re)visioning language teacher education"

B. Kumaravadivelu, San Jose State University

The final decade of the twentieth century has been described as "a period of consolidation" in language teacher education. What seems to have emerged is a general agreement that traditional models of teacher education are based on the limited and limiting concept of knowledge transmission, characterized by a reified role relationship in which theorists conceive and construct knowledge, and teachers understand and apply knowledge. Now more than ever, there is a greater awareness among teacher educators that constructs such as teacher knowledge and teacher beliefs play a crucial role in learning teaching. "How teacher education programs can best be organized to support that learning will," as Freeman says, "shape our work moving forward" (2002, p. 12)

Accordingly, I attempt to consolidate some of the recent insights, and propose a modular model for language teacher education. The model consists of five modules (KARDS): Knowing, Analyzing, Reviewing, Doing and Seeing. KNOWING involves acquiring (a) personal knowledge, (b) professional knowledge, and (c) practical knowledge. ANALYZING involves examining learner (a) needs, (b) wants, and (c) situations. REVIEWING involves using (a) self, (b) peer, and (c) educator assessments for teacher preparation. DOING involves performing (a) micro-teaching, (b) team-teaching, and (c) self-teaching. SEEING involves comprehending mismatches between (a) learner, (b) teacher, and (c) researcher perspectives of teaching acts.

The proposed model takes a modular view of teacher education with multiple entry points and multiple exit points. It is argued that each module, while autonomous, is part of a larger context, each shaping and being shaped by the others. It is also argued that the model provides a framework for prospective/practicing teachers to construct their own theory of practice, thus helping them transcend their current "position of marginality."

B. Kumaravadivelu

Professor, Department of Linguistics and Language Development, San Jose State University

B. Kumaravadivelu was educated at the Universities of Madras in India, Lancaster in Britain, and Michigan (Ann Arbor) in the USA. He is currently Professor of Applied Linguistics and TESOL at San Jose State University, California. His areas of research interest include teaching, teacher education, classroom discourse analysis, postmethod pedagogy, and intercultural communication. He has delivered keynote/plenary addresses in international conferences held in Australia, Britain, Brazil, Columbia, Finland, and Hong Kong. He has published in journals such as TESOL Quarterly, English Language Teaching Journal, International Review of Applied Linguistics, Applied Language Learning, RELC Journal, Indian Journal of Applied Linguistics. He has also served as a member of the Editorial board of TESOL Quarterly. He is the author of Beyond Methods: Macrostrategies for Language Teaching, Yale University Press (2003), and Understanding Language Teaching: From Method to Postmethod (Lawrence Erlbaum, 2005). He is currently completing a book titled Cultural Globalization and Language Education (Yale University Press). A common thread that runs through his work is a critical, global perspective that combines a healthy respect for lived experience and an equally healthy skepticism for received wisdom. In his recent work, he has tried to bring to the TESOL discourse a postmodern, postcolonial and postmethod perspective.

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