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It is suggested that second language teachers often view themselves and are viewed by others as technicians, passive purveyors of prescriptive content, but that they should be encouraged to perceive themselves as professionals. Professionals are defined as those who, by virtue of knowledge and experience in teaching and learning, make instructional decisions and control the learning process. The discussion proceeds to examine three aspects of professionalism in second language education, especially as it relates to English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) teaching. First, it recommends development in ESL teachers of a constructivist approach to teaching and learning. Second, it is argued that teachers should personally establish explicit objectives with regard to attitude, content, and process in the classroom. Finally, it is proposed that the best time to instill this kind of professional commitment is during ESL teacher education. Benefits of a professional approach to ESL teaching include improved instruction, increased creativity, better teacher morale, and an ability to tolerate ambiguity. (Contains 8 references.) (MSE)

Descriptors: Instructional Development, Language Teachers, Professional Development, Role Perception, Second Language Instruction, Second Languages, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Behavior, Teacher Education, Teacher Responsibility, Teacher Role

Autor: Brown, Ronald L.


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