Approaches for second language learning at an early age: the impact of a training course on the receptivity of pre‑service teachers of English to pedagogical innovation.
Post-doctoral research project Catarina Castro
Supervision: Professor Carlos Ceia; Professor António Lopes
NOVA Universiy of Lisbon/CETAPS/ Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia
In terms of second language acquisition research, there are both theoretical grounds and empirical evidence to support a belief that Task-Based Language Teaching (hereafter TBLT) is a pedagogical approach able to meet all the requirements for successful second language learning and acquisition, in a variety of contexts and among a range of learners (Ellis, 2017; Ellis & Shintani, 2014; Samuda et al, 2018), including younger learners (Van den Branden, 2006; Carless, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2012; Shintani, 2013, 2016). Nevertheless, despite the clear psycholinguistic rational for TBLT as well as several empirical evidence supporting the choice of tasks as the basis for second language teaching and learning, there have been few attempts to adopt this kind of approach in institutional contexts (East, 2017).
In this respect, a number of teacher factors have been found to challenge the adoption of TBLT, namely the fact that teachers inevitably bring their own beliefs and understandings about effective pedagogy with them into their own classrooms (Nunan, 2004; Phipps & Borg, 2007), or simply don’t know how to implement it (Adamson & Davison, 2003; Carless, 2009; Jeon, 2006).
Given that language teacher education can have a significant impact in ensuring high quality language teaching (Borg, 2003, 2006), this project seeks to explore the necessity (and possibility) of challenging (and changing) the methodological beliefs of pre-service teachers of English in primary education in Portugal as a result of critical reﬂexion on TBLT, by using quantitative and qualitative data, and devising, implementing and evaluating a training course that will take place at Nova University of Lisbon and University of Algarve.
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