A Socio-pedagogic Theory of Classroom Practice to Support Language Teacher Develop ment in Asia

| September 24, 2010
A Socio-pedagogic Theory of Classroom Practice to Support Language Teacher Develop ment in Asia

Keywords: Class-centred teaching, communicative language teaching, effective language teaching, grounded theory development, local contexts, social constructivism, socio-pedagogic theory of classroom practice

Rose Senior
University of Western Australia

Bio Data
Rose Senior is a senior honorary research fellow at the University of Western Australia. She holds a prize-winning PhD on the topic of teacher perceptions of good language classes and is the author of The Experience of Language Teaching (Cambridge University Press 2006), winner of the Ben Warren International House Prize for the most significant book of the year in the field of language teacher education. Rose has spent most of her working life as a language teacher, moving relatively recently into academia and the field of language teacher education. She presents regularly at conferences and has recently been an invited speaker at the CULI National Seminar in Thailand, KOTESOL in Korea, CLESOL in New Zealand and RELC in Singapore. She has also run a series of seminars on class-centred teaching for Temple University Japan. Rose has a bi-monthly column in English Teaching Professional in which she writes on a range of aspects of classroom language teaching.

This paper describes a two-phase study conducted in Australia that led to the development of a teacher-generated theory of classroom practice. In the first phase grounded theory development procedures were used to collect, examine and categorize qualitative data gathered through extended teacher interviews (n = 28) until a conceptual framework supported by research insights from social psychology was identified. In the second phase the social-psychological development over time of eight classes of adult language learners was documented through weekly teacher interviews (n = 80), ongoing classroom observations (240 hours), and student interviews (n = 140). The data were later supplemented by three further studies in which extended interviews were conducted with an additional 65 teachers working in a wider range of contexts.

The socio-pedagogic theory that emerged from the research proposes that effective classroom teaching involves not only teaching content in a proficient manner but also developing a relationship with the class in such a way that teaching and learning become a collective, collaborative endeavour in which the overall atmosphere of the class lifts the performance of individuals. This concept is encapsulated in the term class-centred teaching .

The paper concludes by suggesting that the notion of class-centred teaching may be a useful means of encouraging locally-trained language teachers in the Asian region to reflect upon their current teaching and class management practices and to modify them in ways that are congruent with their personal belief systems and appropriate for their local educational contexts.


See pages: 164-180

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 12 Issue 3