Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Language Teaching Research (2010) 14(3): 241-258. DOI: 10.1177/1362168810365252


Copyright 2010, Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


Scripted instruction (SI) programs, which direct teachers to teach, even to talk, from a standardized written script, are roundly criticized for inhibiting teacher creativity and teacher learning. In fact, such programs utilize scripting for exactly that reason: to reduce teacher interference with (and presumed weakening of) the prescribed curriculum and its delivery. Yet, two teachers in this 18-month study reported learning much about language and language teaching from scripted instruction programs. Through a sociocultural lens, this article explores how an instructional program so widely decried as de-professionalizing instead became a catalyst for these teachers’ professional growth. Exploring the teachers’ reasoning about adopting the program and their day-to-day experiences teaching by script yielded new insight into how the language teachers used the script as a meditational tool for their own teacher learning. These teachers’ cases underscore the need for formal teacher education to articulate with how teachers learn and to advance teacher development toward adaptive teaching expertise.