Language teacher development in a narrative frame: the transition from classroom to distance and blended settings

Shelley, Monica; Murphy, Linda and White, Cynthia J. (2013). Language teacher development in a narrative frame: the transition from classroom to distance and blended settings. System, 41(3) pp. 560–574.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2013.06.002

Abstract

White (2003) and others have identified the many challenges associated with the shift from face-to-face to distance and, more recently, blended language teaching. This study examines the way in which individual teachers have responded to those challenges, drawing on the technique of narrative enquiry, as outlined in the work of Clandinin (2007) and Clandinin and Connelly (2000) and further developed as narrative frames for use by language teachers by Barkhuizen and Wette (2008). Six research issues identified by Borg (2009) were used for the analysis of teacher narratives produced by a sample of ten tertiary language teachers from distance universities in the UK and Australasia; this analysis was further developed and extended via detailed interviews with six teachers from that sample. Findings highlight the significance of both experience and context, the developing trajectories of teacher learning, and the emergent, dynamic nature of that learning. It was concluded that enquiry into affective aspects of teachers’ lives and development facilitates an understanding of how they may deal with new teaching contexts and that their cognitive development is complex, and may be conflictual.

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