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Zhao, Kangxian
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This MA thesis explores the stories ESL teachers and TESL teacher educators tell about their understandings of language teaching methodology in the “post-method era” (Brown, 2002). The goal of this thesis is to explore how ESL teachers and TESL teacher educators come to know what they believe about teaching by examining their pedagogical choices. Seven ESL teachers from a city in Atlantic Canada participated in the study. Two of the seven are also TESL teacher educators. I used qualitative research methods, in particular, semi-structured interviews. I also conducted in-class observations and followup interviews with five of the participants. I also included autobiography in this research. I used narrative analysis to analyze the research data and to identify different topics: entering the profession by accident, the influence of L2 learning, teaching by principles, formations followed by frustration, the use of music and movement, teaching to school culture, continuing professional development, research in practice, and educating for Guided Discovery and Task-Based Language Teaching. The data is represented as fictionalized narratives of the ESL teachers and TESL teacher educators— the tales of the narrator Joy and five main characters: April, Bridget, Cynthia, David, and Emily. iii The research findings in this study include: (a) ESL teachers and TESL teacher educators have varied educational backgrounds and working experiences before teaching, (b) a teacher’s own L2 learning experiences, favorable or unfavorable, influence his/her teaching in practice, (c) teachers learn to teach differently in various ways, (d) teachers and teacher educators teach according to their own principles and beliefs, but not according to a single method, (e) both teachers and teacher educators teach to fit the school culture; school culture has an influence on the language teaching methods/approaches/principles that teachers use in teaching, (f) teachers and teacher educators believe in eclectic methods in language teaching, (g) teachers who do not identity mainstream language teaching methods and approaches also teach effectively, and (h) some teachers are particularly loyal to a British system in second and foreign language education. My research findings suggest that (a) sincere ongoing institutional support for teachers’ professional development is necessary and important for the expansion of their knowledge and practice, (b) it is important for teachers and teacher educators to share knowledge after professional development with internal and external networking, (c) teacher education programs should include a teaching methods course (also see, Bell, 2007), and (d) teacher education programs should encourage and, most importantly, support practitioner research in the ESL classroom during the program so that teachers can continue with their helpful classroom researching as they begin to teach.
Training , English teachers , English second language , Evaluation , Foreign speakers , Atlantic Provinces , Study and teaching