Reproducing or Recreating Pedagogies? The Journey of Three CSL Teachers’ Learning of the Communicative Approach

Abstract

This study examines how three Chinese as a second language (CSL) teachers in a Chinese university setting appropriated the communicative approach through influences from their past language experiences. Although communicative pedagogy has been in place for decades, research reports that it still largely challenges teachers’ conceptions of teaching and learning in China. Research on these teachers’ appropriation of the communicative approach with an explicit focus on their past experiences of language learning and use has been limited. Data for this study were collected from interviews and classroom observations with three CSL teachers, and the data analysis went through a three-stage process, including open coding, categorizing, and generating themes. The study found that teachers appropriated the communicative pedagogy through comparative reflections on three identified types of language experiences (i.e., positive experiences in class, negative experiences in class, and language acquisition in natural settings), highlighting a dialogic relationship among the triad. Implications for second language teachers’ professional learning and teacher education are discussed.

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Funding

This study is supported by the Chinese Ministry of Education Research Funding for Humanities and Social Science (No. 20YJA740050).

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Correspondence to Tao Xiong.

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Peng, Y., Xiong, T. Reproducing or Recreating Pedagogies? The Journey of Three CSL Teachers’ Learning of the Communicative Approach. Asia-Pacific Edu Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40299-020-00520-2

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Keywords

  • Apprenticeship of observation
  • Chinese as a second language
  • Teachers’ professional learning
  • The communicative approach