Contextual influences on the Teaching Practice of a beginning TESOL teacher: A narrative inquiry
Keywords: Teaching, Context, Practice, TESOL Teacher, Japan
Dr Patrick Ng
University of Niigata Prefecture, Japan
Dr Patrick Ng earned his Doctorate in Education (Applied Linguistics and TESOL) from Leicester University, UK. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the International Studies and Regional Development Department at the University of Niigata Prefecture, Japan. His research interests focus on Bilingualism, Readers Theatre and Multicultural literacy.
Traditionally, learning to teach was viewed as applying discrete amounts of teaching knowledge in one context and developing teaching skills in another context. However, in recent years, there has been a paradigm shift in teacher education focusing on the specific teaching context that shapes the reality of classroom practice. According to Freeman and Johnson (1998), the teaching context such as schools and classrooms are the sociocultural terrains in which the work of teaching is conceptualized, implemented and evaluated (Freeman & Johnson, 1998, p. 408). This paper attempts to fill the gap in the effects of contextual factors on the teaching practice of a new EFL teacher in Japan. Thus the research question for this study is, What role does the teaching context play in the teaching practice of a beginning TESOL teacher in the Japanese classroom? Elbaz (1983) has demonstrated that teachers knowledge is largely held tacitly in holistic, often narrative, forms, suggesting that narratives of teaching will allow new ways to understand the experience of L2 classrooms. Through a narrative inquiry of my teaching experience in Japan, I attempt to show that the teaching practice of TESOL teachers in Japan is influenced by contextual factors such as students linguistic proficiency and learning attitudes, the institution learning culture, mentors in the out-of-classroom context, teaching philosophy and the sociolinguistic context of teaching. It is intended that this study will add on the knowledge of contextual influences on teaching practice in teacher education.