Teaching in Poland: an initial teacher education initiative to develop skills in meeting the needs of learners with english as an additional language

Stevenson, Mary and Gadsby, Helen and Collins, Julie and Herrera, Maria (2018) Teaching in Poland: an initial teacher education initiative to develop skills in meeting the needs of learners with english as an additional language. Research in Action (3). pp. 57-68. ISSN 25159364

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Abstract

In this paper we report on research arising from an innovative project in which secondary pre-service teacher trainees at an English university are offered an experience of teaching in Polish schools, through a collaborative arrangement between Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, UK and colleagues at Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland. The project is an enhancement of the PGCE course and is offered to all trainees across nine subject disciplines. In 2017, the project involved 64 trainees and 6 staff from Liverpool Hope, students and staff from Nicolaus Copernicus University, and teachers and pupils in 12 schools in Torun. The impetus for this project arose due to the requirement for teachers in England to be trained in techniques to teach speakers of languages other than English and the limited opportunities to put this into practice in the Merseyside area due to local demographics. The rationale for this approach is supported by Putnam and Borko (2000) (Situative Theory) and Dewey (1938) (active deliberate engagement with problematic situations for learning). During the project, a carefully designed programme of planning, teaching, and evaluation provides a sophisticated and powerful pedagogical model. Trainee teachers work in small teams co-teaching in pairs, observed and supported by peers and a tutor. Teams meet on a daily basis to discuss and evaluate their teaching. Reflection is led by the trainees, with tutor support. Our research indicates that benefits to trainees arise from having opportunities to: • reflect upon and improve their teaching in a challenging but supportive context, • observe peers teaching, and learn from each other both within and across subjects, • teach whole classes of pupils whose first language is not English. As a result of participation in the project, pre-service teachers’ confidence and communication skills are enhanced, especially in relation to clarity of talk and instruction in the classroom.

Item Type: Article
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Teacher Education
Depositing User: Philippa Williams
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2019 12:03
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2019 00:15
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2815

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