The Education of Language Teachers in East Asia

| July 5, 2006
The Education of Language Teachers in East Asia

Keywords: Confucian influenced notions of education, Experience, Rationale, Observation, Trial and Integration, cultural relativity of teaching models

Paul Breen

Bio Data
Paul Breen has worked in a range of teaching contexts, since his PGCE graduation in 2000. This has included work in a British College of Further Education and schools in Tokyo, Australia and Dublin. He is currently employed in a Korean national university. His main research interests are teacher training and educational technology.

This article looks at the education of English language teachers in the Asian context and stresses the reasons why there’s a need for all second language teachers to be properly educated in a professional and reflective manner in order to increase the respect accorded to our profession. In this era of second language teaching, it is essential that in any training course for teachers there is a strong concentration on reflective practice and language awareness as a means of meeting ‘local’ needs, demands and expectations. The training course must be context sensitive, realistic in its objectives from the outset and supported by a coherent rationale that draws on theoretical influences and practical examples of second language teaching. These days there are so many teacher training courses that it’s difficult for teachers to pick their way “through the mass of accumulated information, opinion and conflicting advice; to make sense of the vast literature, and to distinguish between solid truth and ephemeral fads or plain misinformation” (Stern 1983, p. 1-2). In the Asian context, where this author is working, this confusion over the value of courses has led to a lack of proper training procedures within the EFL industry. Now is the time to focus on how teachers should be trained in this context.

Category: Monthly Editions, Volume 13