Multi-Membership in Communities of Practice: An EFL Teachers Professional DevelopmentReport as inadecuate

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TESL-EJ, v16 n2 Sep 2012

This study investigates the professional development of one EFL teacher, Gen, through narrative analysis and the notion of community of practice (CoP) (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998). This study addresses two questions: (1) How did a Japanese high school teacher generate context-appropriate pedagogy?; and (2) How did multi-membership in CoPs influence this teacher's learning? Data were collected through classroom observations and interviews. Gen's story reveals that he belongs to multiple CoPs and that in order to generate context-appropriate pedagogy, he learns from other members of his CoPs by talking to them, observing their lessons, and sharing teaching activities. Gen's story also indicates that members of local CoPs who have TESOL backgrounds connect him to the "English-speaking Western TESOL" community (Holliday, 2005). These findings highlight the importance of teachers belonging to multiple CoPs. This study also suggests the need for reconceptualizing teacher education from a knowledge transmission metaphor to a participant metaphor. (Contains 1 table, 1 figure, and 8 notes.)

Descriptors: Figurative Language, English (Second Language), Communities of Practice, Second Language Learning, Faculty Development, Language Teachers, Discourse Analysis, Secondary School Teachers, Foreign Countries, Culturally Relevant Education, Observation, Classroom Environment, Interviews, Second Language Instruction, Teacher Education

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Author: Nishino, Takako


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