Language Instructors Learning Together: Using Lesson Study in Higher Education
The post 9/11 context brought a heightened awareness of the critical need to develop translingual and transcultural competence in language learners. This chapter takes up the question of what role—and what form—professional development for language instructors can take in the overall task of increasing students’ language proficiency levels. It details a qualitative, interventionist study which examined how participation in an inquiry group mediated the conceptual development of three world language instructors in higher education. The study is framed by both activity theory, which informs an understanding of the inquiry group’s situatedness in their sociocultural-historical context, and microinteractional analysis, which allows a view into how the turn-by-turn construction of meaning in the inquiry group created affordances for teacher inquiry. The findings of this study support the view that a combination of periodic workshops and sustained instructional inquiry groups can be particularly effective in promoting teacher conceptual development.
KeywordsProfessional development Inquiry group Lesson study Developmental work research Activity theory Higher education World language Microinteractional analysis Proficiency Teacher learning
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