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Three ESL teachers' reflections upon their beliefs toward communicative language teaching and classroom practices: A multiple case study

Kwang-Og Lee, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship among beliefs, practices, and reflections and teacher reflectivity. Data were collected through extensive, multiple sources of information, including interviews, observations, teacher journals, curricular documents and artifacts, and E-mail communications. Also included is a survey for selecting three English as a Second Language teachers (Ann, Barb, and Cindy (pseudonyms)) who revealed a strong belief in using the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) approach. ^ Dewey's (1933) three essential attitudes for reflective action (open-minded, wholehearted, and responsibility), Van Manen's (1977) three levels of reflection model (technical, practical, and critical reflection), and Schön's (1983) theory of “reflection-on-action” and “reflection-in-action” were used to analyze and study the subjects. ^ Ann espoused the language of CLT but was not able to translate her goals into practice. She lacked Dewey's three essential attitudes for reflective action and revealed a low level of reflectivity. Barb and Cindy met all three essential attitudes for reflective action and achieved the highest level of reflection (the critical reflection). ^ Cindy could better analyze and be critical of CLT as she became more reflective and conscious of her beliefs and practices. She produced practical and personal theoretical knowledge about hands-on activities and indirect teaching that offered an insider's perspective of schools. ^ The study showed differences regarding reflection-on-action but not regarding reflection-in-action among the subjects, raising a question as to the credibility of reflection-in-action as a fine measurement for reflectivity. ^ It appears that reflection becomes more active and critical when teachers are not strictly bound by a specific teaching methodology, when they have a sincere interest in teaching, and when their beliefs are consistent with their teaching practices. Teachers may become more reflective when they resort to personal theorizing through their own critical reflections, and when they understand that their belief system will continue to evolve as part of an “on-going process.” ^

Subject Area

Education, Language and Literature|Education, Teacher Training|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Lee, Kwang-Og, "Three ESL teachers' reflections upon their beliefs toward communicative language teaching and classroom practices: A multiple case study" (2001). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3022644.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3022644

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