Reframing teacher identities: ESL pre-service teachers' perspectives of teaching and learning in Australian

Year: 2009

Author: Fan, Si, Le, Thao

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

With a significant increase in the number of English as a Second Language (ESL) students attending universities and entering teacher education profession in Australia (Ryan & Hellmundt, 2003), the support for them is becoming an increasingly important issue facing Australian education institutions. These student teachers, who bring multi-cultural experiences into Australian classrooms, confront difficulties and challenges due to their language and cultural differences, as well as their status of being student teachers. This study involves the participation of eleven ESL pre-service teachers from the Bachelor of Teaching program at the University of Tasmania. It intends to find out these ESL pre-service teachers' perceptions of teaching and learning experiences in Australian classrooms, and what support strategies are in place to support them. Data were drawn from surveys, semi-structured interviews and focus group meetings. The paper argues that all support models need to be reframed with considerations of the ESL pre-service teachers' perspectives. It moves towards the elaboration of an emancipatory approach which opens spaces for ESL pre-service teachers to re-frame their practices as well as the Bachelor of Teaching program, to provide enriching cultural experiences for all.

Key Phrase: Teacher Education and Professional Development of Teachers