The sustainable impact of a short comparative teaching placement abroad on primary school language teachers’ professional, linguistic and cultural skills

Manuela Thomae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Recent research shows an increase in the number of trained teachers teaching foreign languages to learners aged 7–11 in English primary schools. Part of this increase stems from a government-funded four-week teaching placement abroad as part of a languages programme in initial teacher education (ITE). Student teachers’ cultural, linguistic and professional skills improved during their training, but little is known about the long-term effects on teachers once qualified. This small scale study draws on Byram’s framework for developing intercultural competence and on Mezirow’s transformative learning theory to investigate how the professional landscape within which teachers train impacts on their socialisation into the profession. An online questionnaire was sent to 100 practitioners who had trained in one higher education institution with well-established comparative teaching placements abroad. Following the analysis, we approached two respondents to discuss the findings and explore the key themes in more depth. The findings indicate that a short comparative professional experience in a foreign country during initial training can lead to a perspective transformation which has a profound and sustainable influence on teachers’ professional practice and their confidence as leaders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-320
JournalThe Language Learning Journal
Volume42
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2014

Cite this

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The sustainable impact of a short comparative teaching placement abroad on primary school language teachers’ professional, linguistic and cultural skills. / Thomae, Manuela.

In: The Language Learning Journal, Vol. 42, No. 3, 02.09.2014, p. 307-320.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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