Student Teacher Cognitions on Form-Focused Instruction. An Explanatory Sequential Study of Dutch Undergraduate and Post-Graduate EFL Student Teachers
s.l. : s.n.
Number of pages
Radboud University, 20 november 2018
Promotor : Coppen, P.A.J.M.
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SubjectLanguage & Communication; Teacher Cognitions on Form-Focused Instruction: An Explanatory Sequential Study of Dutch Pre-Service and In-Service EFL Student Teachers; Variation and Distance
The objective of this doctoral thesis was to systematically and critically examine the pedagogical grammar cognitions of Dutch English as a foreign language (EFL) student teachers during their time spent in bachelor and master degree (teacher education) programmes in order to describe these cognitions, analyse and explain them, and investigate the role of teacher education. This research project encompassed four separate but interconnected studies, which examined student teacher cognitions from multiple perspectives, utilising various methods and instruments, such as questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and a case study. The results showed that student teachers have distinct ideas about what constitutes grammatical difficulty – which go beyond how this concept is traditionally defined in the second language acquisition (SLA) literature – and how these ideas interact with pedagogical grammar and learner-related cognitions. Furthermore, insight was gained into how student teachers perceive grammar instruction in relation to well-known SLA concepts such as meaning-focused instruction, FonF, FonFs, implicit, explicit, deductive, and inductive instruction, and how these constructs are operationalised. Finally, our findings indicated that teacher education has a clearly noticeable influence on student teacher cognitions, but not necessarily in the way it is intended. This study brought into sharp relief how suitable models, congruent teaching, and acknowledging the influence of experience and prior cognitions are of paramount importance in teacher education. This thesis has attempted to contribute to a more sophisticated awareness and an increased understanding of student teacher pedagogical grammar cognitions, how these are affected by teacher education and interact with other belief systems. These insights have given rise to various concrete suggestions for improving current practice and new research directions. Moreover, this study is a strong reminder of how (student) teachers’ mental lives – their thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, emotions, and knowledge – come together with their lived experiences to shape and build their reality.
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