Addressing EFL Teachers’ Cognitions and Practices About Oral Interaction Through Professional Learning Opportunities in Chile

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dc.contributor.advisor Parr, J en
dc.contributor.advisor Tolosa, C en Calderon Avendano, Paloma en 2018-04-18T22:05:23Z en 2017 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract Oral interaction is a central component of the most recent reform to the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) curriculum in Chile. Teachers in elementary schools play a critical role in the successful implementation of this curriculum innovation yet little is known about what these teachers think, know and believe about oral interaction and how it is promoted in their classrooms. This research aims to address these gaps by investigating the cognitions about oral interaction and the teaching practices of EFL teachers in Santiago, Chile. The study also examines the influence of teacher learning opportunities on the cognitions and practices of the teachers. Using Borg’s framework for research into language teacher cognition and education (Borg, 2006), this study adopted a mixed-methods design implemented in two phases. In Phase 1 data were collected from an online questionnaire sent to teachers in public and semi-private elementary schools in the metropolitan area of Santiago to investigate their existing cognitions about oral interaction. From the 95 respondents, eight participants volunteered to be part of Phase 2 where data were gathered from self-reported data as well as classroom observations. The participants decided to be part of one of two different forms of professional learning. Data from the two groups were analyzed to examine the influence of professional learning opportunities on the cognitions and practices of the eight teachers. Findings from Phase 1 indicated that over half of the respondents considered that oral interaction was a one-way process of communication and used an approach that did not include oral interaction or communication. This seemed to contradict the teachers’ indication of the importance of listening and speaking skills. Findings from Phase 2 suggested that most teachers thought that promoting oral interaction was not feasible in elementary school contexts although their cognitions were not informed by theoretical or pedagogical knowledge of Communicative Language Teaching. In general, these cognitions were predominantly grounded on their experiential knowledge gained in grammar-oriented lessons. Classroom observations indicated that oral interaction was rarely promoted. The findings of the second part of Phase 2 indicated that the professional learning sessions had a positive influence on the cognitions and practices of the teachers from the learning sessions group. Teachers attempted to include these new cognitions in their practices and some students were immediately responsive to their teachers’ new practices by attempting to initiate interaction. In contrast, the focus group interview did not influence positively the cognitions about oral interaction or the practices of the teachers. In conclusion, the existing cognitions about oral interaction of the teachers in general seemed to negatively influence their decisions and practices to promote oral interaction. However, professional learning opportunities helped teachers challenge these cognitions and prior experiences with theories and strategies to promote oral interaction to young students and concrete practice opportunities. This study contributes to the study of language teacher cognition in a key area for the development of communicative language: oral interaction. Findings from the study offer insights into the influence of teachers’ cognitions on the implementation of curriculum innovations to those in charge of language teacher education and language teaching policy in Chile and other contexts. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265058013602091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Addressing EFL Teachers’ Cognitions and Practices About Oral Interaction Through Professional Learning Opportunities in Chile en
dc.type Thesis en Education en The University of Auckland en Doctoral en PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.elements-id 737175 en Education and Social Work en Curriculum and Pedagogy en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2018-04-19 en

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