Jack C. RICHARDS, University of Auckland
The issue of language teachers’ knowledge and skill base is fundamental to our understanding of effective teaching and to approaches to language teacher education. Questions that have been a focus of research in the field of language teacher education over the years include:
What are the core competencies teachers of English need to acquire, maintain and develop throughout their careers??
What kinds of professional and practical knowledge do teachers need and use in their practice and how best can such knowledge be acquired?
What constitutes good teaching in a language classroom?
What developmental processes are involved when teachers move from being novices to experts in their field?
What factors trigger change in teachers’ understandings and practices?
In this presentation four aspects of the language teachers’ skills and expertise will be discussed, and how these influence teachers’ understanding and practice of teaching: The language teacher’s knowledge base (disciplinary knowledge, pedagogic content knowledge); The teacher’s cognitive and practical skills (pedagogic reasoning skills, practical routines and procedures, teaching English through English, creative thinking in teaching);The soft skills of language teaching (the classroom as a learning community, the emotional climate of the classroom);Teachers’ learning pathways (the nature of change, the role of identity, from novice to expert, theorizing practice)