The study is set in the context of New Zealand where teaching and learning other languages is not compulsory, and one result of this context is that teachers often have to teach a language without having pedagogical knowledge of or training in language teaching. As a consequence, many professional learning opportunities are offered. This research project tries to establish the impact of one of those Professional Development Programmes on participating teachers’ beliefs of language teaching and on teaching practice. The project explores the effects of a three week Mandarin language and pedagogy immersion programme in China on non-native and native speakers. The participants are in-service teachers who have little or no training in language teaching. The study illustrates the teachers’ language learning and teaching history, their language teaching beliefs as well as teaching practices before their international experience, and it follows their development over six months upon their return to New Zealand. Out of the eleven participants four are chosen as case studies and language use, teaching and learning beliefs, and teaching practices of non-native and native speakers of Mandarin are further evaluated. The study is a longitudinal one based on narrative inquiry, interviewing participants prior to their professional development and twice afterwards over several months. The findings suggest a substantial impact of the programme on teaching beliefs and on teaching practices, in particular on the use of target language and teaching methodology.
Christine Biebricher, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Stream: Teacher training
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