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7. Language Teacher Cognition: An Emergent Phenomenon in an Emergent Field

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... Recent research and theorising on language teacher psychology (Feryok, 2018) suggests that facilitating cognitive change -more particularly, raising teachers' self-awareness and self-regulation -depends on both experiential (tacit) knowledge, which resides in procedural memory (Ullman, 2015), and conceptual (declarative) knowledge, which is part of episodic and semantic memory. The interaction between these two types of knowledge, which is self-organising and emergent in nature (Feryok, 2018) and is also known as praxis (Lantolf & Johnson, 2007), may be defined as 'the ability to act routinely when conscious control is not needed, to exercise conscious control over actions when it is needed, to do both more or less fluently, and to switch between them more or less fluently' (Feryok, 2018, p. 118). ...
... Recent research and theorising on language teacher psychology (Feryok, 2018) suggests that facilitating cognitive change -more particularly, raising teachers' self-awareness and self-regulation -depends on both experiential (tacit) knowledge, which resides in procedural memory (Ullman, 2015), and conceptual (declarative) knowledge, which is part of episodic and semantic memory. The interaction between these two types of knowledge, which is self-organising and emergent in nature (Feryok, 2018) and is also known as praxis (Lantolf & Johnson, 2007), may be defined as 'the ability to act routinely when conscious control is not needed, to exercise conscious control over actions when it is needed, to do both more or less fluently, and to switch between them more or less fluently' (Feryok, 2018, p. 118). This line of thought, which comprises elements from sociocultural theory (Vygotsky, 1986(Vygotsky, , 1997 and dynamic systems theory (Lars-en- Freeman & Cameron, 2008a) as applied to language teacher cognition by Feryok (2018), implies that language teacher education should focus on developing conceptual knowledge, which 'needs to be both intentionally exercised in and purposefully extracted from practices so that teachers understand what and how they practise in order to self-regulate' (Feryok, 2018, p. 119). ...
... The interaction between these two types of knowledge, which is self-organising and emergent in nature (Feryok, 2018) and is also known as praxis (Lantolf & Johnson, 2007), may be defined as 'the ability to act routinely when conscious control is not needed, to exercise conscious control over actions when it is needed, to do both more or less fluently, and to switch between them more or less fluently' (Feryok, 2018, p. 118). This line of thought, which comprises elements from sociocultural theory (Vygotsky, 1986(Vygotsky, , 1997 and dynamic systems theory (Lars-en- Freeman & Cameron, 2008a) as applied to language teacher cognition by Feryok (2018), implies that language teacher education should focus on developing conceptual knowledge, which 'needs to be both intentionally exercised in and purposefully extracted from practices so that teachers understand what and how they practise in order to self-regulate' (Feryok, 2018, p. 119). Consequently, if change is called for in grammar teaching practice -clear indications of which became apparent in the previous chapters -then student teacher cognitions play a central role. ...
... A way to embrace such complexity would be to take a socially oriented epistemological stance towards LTC that assumes an emergent and constructivist quality (Feryok, 2018). In other words, LTC should not be considered as a static construct that is relatively fixed and unchanging. ...
... We set out to understand how a fully asynchronous language teaching education course assisted in-service language teachers' understanding of their pedagogical decisions, beliefs, and actions (Feryok, 2018) in relation to their emotions. We found that online discussion forums acted as digital campfires that provided both the teacher educator and his teacher-learners opportunities to use various narratives (Barkhuizen, 2016) within our focal asynchronous classroom. ...
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As the educational landscape evolves to address emerging international demands (De Costa, Green-Eneix & Li, 2020), teacher educators and researchers have begun to reevaluate what it means to be a ‘good’ teacher within digital classrooms. An area that has not been fully explored is how language (LTC) and (LTE) dialectically occur through the stories and conversations in asynchronous online language teaching classrooms. This semester-long netnographic case study (Kozinets, 2010) sets out to understand how a fully asynchronous class helps novice in-service language teachers better understand their LTC and LTE concerning their respective teaching contexts. We found a digital space for in-service teachers to develop professionally both in the classroom and their respective contexts.
... The main implication of this is that teacher motivation, teacher autonomy, and teacher development are always situated and thus contextually constrained (see also Feryok, 2018). ...
... Attractors represent pockets of dynamic equilibrium that a system stabilizes into despite the many layers of complexity it may encounter. In the domain of language teacher motivation, autonomy, and development, for example, language teachers might come to make sense of their professional context through certain repertoires of action or inaction (Feryok, 2018;Kubanyiova & Feryok, 2015), settle into a pattern of resistance to change or other more virtuous psychological outcomes (Hiver & Dörnyei, 2017;Hiver & Whitehead, 2018a, 2018b, or solidify a unique representation of who they are and their purpose as professionals (De Costa & Norton, 2017;Henry, 2016). Thus, as they develop over time, complex systems display qualitatively distinct patterns that could not have been anticipated by looking at their component parts individually. ...
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This chapter has two broad objectives: first, to provide an accessible introduction that will aid readers in understanding the central concepts of complexity theory; and, second, to examine the utility of complexity theory as a robust conceptual framework for empirical research-particularly in the lives of language teachers and the work they do. I begin this chapter by examining the principles underlying the theoretical perspective of complexity, considering how this framework encourages scholars to view the world and its phenomena, and detailing how complexity theory has been used by other disciplines. Then, by extending the recent work of Larsen-Freeman (2015, 2017), I explore some of the key intellectual ideas and theoretical tools that are on offer from the complexity perspective and relate these to existing work in the field of teacher motivation, autonomy, and development. Finally, I transition into looking at the endeavor of teacher-related research from within this conceptual framework in order to establish the ways in which complexity theory might inform transdisciplinary research in the discipline, and how it can assist in plugging gaps left by conventional research paradigms.
... Teachers are rarely called upon to explain or "codify" their PK. As a result, PK remains largely tacit and unexamined and, in fact, may often be enacted without conscious deliberation or awareness (Clandinin, 1985;Feryok, 2018;Korthagen, 2010;Schön, 1987). As is frequently pointed out, when teachers are prompted to explain their practice, they often have difficulty articulating it and may be able to respond only in broad generalities and conjectures that fail to fully capture their PK (Clandinin, 1985;Farrell, 2007;Schön, 1992;Shulman, 1986;van Manen, 1995). ...
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The concept of teacher practical knowledge (PK), with its emphasis on the intuitive and situated nature of teaching practice, has provided a compelling approach to understanding what underlies teaching practice. However, much of the literature around PK focuses on teacher reflections on their practice and leaves unexplored the question of how a teaching situation elicits particular practices from teachers. Moreover, there is a tendency to focus on individual PK, and this means that the social dimension, and particularly the socially normative element, of teaching practice is perhaps underappreciated. This article develops what I call the skilled teacher approach (STA) to teaching practice, which shifts the focus from teachers’ individual cognitions about practice to what teachers directly perceive as possible in their fundamentally social teaching environment. This approach is rooted in Heidegger’s phenomenology but also draws substantially on ecological psychology literature and argues that what teachers do in practice is largely a product of the affordances they directly perceive in their practice environment. It also argues that much of the landscape of affordances that a teacher perceives is socially constructed. Consequently, a significant part of PK relates to a sensitivity to the socially given affordances and knowing intuitively “what one does” as a teacher. This approach offers a different, yet complementary, understanding of teaching practice and suggests new ways of engendering positive change in practice.
... To understand how English currently coexists with local languages on an everyday basis, researchers need to listen to the professionals involved, and to disentangle the discourses they use to convey experiences, impressions and beliefs associated with their emergent EMI practices. Narrative inquiry in teacher education provides just such a way of shedding light on the situated experience of teachers in particular contexts, and has been previously used in order to elicit professionals' personal understanding and experience of aspects of teacher development (Barkhuizen & Wette, 2008;Feryok, 2018;Viet, 2012). When teachers share their impressions with collaborating researchers, they display both their lived experiences and the way they personally make sense of what happens. ...
Article
English medium instruction (EMI) is widespread in European universities. In most such contexts, students and teachers are able to communicate in at least one other language, generally the shared L1. Recent studies in English-speaking countries and postcolonial settings have suggested that attitudes towards L1 use in EMI are changing, and that multilingualism in the classroom is accepted or even positively embraced. However, some studies in expanding circle countries such as Spain and Turkey indicate that this trend is not universal. This paper uses evidence from narrative frames administered to 60 EMI lecturers at 5 universities in northern Spain to investigate their attitudes to L1 use, identify how these intersect with their age, years of experience in EMI, gender and subject area, and shed light on their conceptualisations of EMI and emergent practices. Around half believed that L1 use was not acceptable, while most of the others only allowed the L1 in highly circumscribed conditions (to repair breakdowns in communication, to foster empathy outside the classroom, or to refer to local phenomena). Our evidence reflects the struggle to further the use of English in EMI settings where this language is a relative newcomer.
... It also affirmed how teacher thinking is closely linked to praxis, and underscored how teachers' capacity as agentive, thinking beings is shaped by time and by place. Greater sociohistorical understandings of the notion of teacher cognition coincided with another conceptual shift: The field began to adopt a systems view that sees teacher cognition as a complex, situated, adaptive, and emergent phenomenon (Feryok, 2018). The relational, self-organized, and networked nature of teacher cognition in this ecological perspective sees thought and action as parts of a complex adaptive system embedded in the spatiotemporal contexts where teachers' work unfolds (Kubanyiova & Feryok, 2015;Mercer, 2016). ...
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Metacognition is a topic of increasing interest in the field of instruction and learning, but its relation to actual teaching behaviors is seldom investigated in second language (L2) classroom research. The purpose of this study was to examine whether and how language teacher metacognition and executive function are linked to high-leverage teaching practice. We recruited foreign and second language teachers (N = 937), including bilingual/ESL teachers, from K-12 public schools across the southern United States. We obtained a direct measure of teachers’ executive function and an indirect measure of metacognitive capacity. Using the Tripod (7Cs) framework, we also assessed specific aspects of high-leverage teaching practice under three broad conceptual areas: personal support, curricular support, and academic press. We examined the mediating role of teacher metacognitive capacity between executive function and exemplary classroom practice, and tested an alternative model. Analyses returned stronger support for our hypothesized model over the alternative, indicating that teacher metacognition—teachers’ adaptive capacity to monitor, interpret, evaluate, and intervene on L2 classroom events—constitutes an important mediating condition for building classroom environments that are engaging, demanding, and supportive of learners’ L2 development.
... In Johnson and Golombek's (2003) This expanding research base has continued to grow in the last decade. Research in teacher cognition and teacher identity showed no signs of declining, with a number of research studies being published in these areas, e.g., Burns, Freeman and Edwards, 2015;Cheung, Ben Said and Park, 2015;Coffey, 2015;Crookes, 2015;Feryok, 2018;Feryok & Oranje, 2015;Golombek, 2015;Golombek and Klager, 2015;Johnson, 2015;Kanno and Stuart, 2011;Kubanyiova and Feryok, 2015;Mantero, 2004;Moodie & Feryok 2015;Svalberg, 2015;Tsui, 2007;Varghese, Morgan, Johnston & Johnson, 2005, among others. In particular, Barkhuizen's (2017) Reflections In what follows, I explore the literature on teacher learning in pre-service LTE. ...
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Every year, tens of thousands of English language teachers worldwide graduate from the University of Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speaker of Other Languages (CELTA). Despite the significant impact this pre-service certificate exerts in the English language teaching (ELT) profession, research on Language Teacher Education (LTE) has traditionally relied on studies conducted in academic-based programs at higher education institutions. This mixed methods research investigates what it means for student teachers to learn how to teach and develop as English language teachers in CELTA courses. It also investigates the nature of such learning and development, and the ways in which student teachers learn how to teach and develop as teachers in CELTA. A three-phased “enhanced” exploratory sequential mixed methods research design was employed. In Phase 1, data from semi-structured interviews, course documents, classroom observations, field notes, diaries and a WhatsApp group chat were collected at 2 CELTA programs: one in the US, where the researcher co-taught the course, and the other in Canada. Findings showed that student teachers learned teaching knowledge and skills and that, through this learning, they interacted with teacher educators, peers and ESL students, interactions which influenced and were influenced by their emotions and teacher identity. In Phase 2, these findings were used to develop the teacher learning and development (TLD) Scale. Data collected from CELTA graduates and student teachers (N = 880) from 78 countries were analyzed and a novel TLD construct was identified. In Phase 3, mixed methods synthesis occurred, and findings revealed how, by self-regulating and being regulated by teacher educators and peers through the use of course activities, artifacts and concepts, student teachers internalized teaching knowledge and developed pedagogical content knowledge. Findings also showed how student teachers developed as individuals and teachers by resolving the dialectical contradictions that constituted the moving force for their teacher development as well as the forms of their teacher development. The importance of perezhivanie (commonly translated as “lived experience”) as a lens to explain teacher development in LTE is discussed, and the concepts of teaching knowledge as praxis (TKP) and teacher’s teaching knowledge as praxis (TTKP) are proposed.
... Research using different theoretical and methodological perspectives in LTC has employed the notion of language teacher cognitions as emerging (Aslan, 2015;Childs, 2011;Dunn, 2011;Fagan, 2015;Feryok, 2009Feryok, , 2018Feryok & Oranje, 2015;Johnson, 2015;Johnson & Golombek, 2011;Reis, 2011;Worden, 2015;Yoshida, 2011). Using dynamic systems theory (DST), for example, Feryok and Oranje (2015) conducted a microgenetic analysis of a session in which a researcher introduced a new tool, a cultural portfolio project, to a high school German as a foreign language teacher, who then tried to implement it in her instruction. ...
Article
This article discusses an English as a second language teacher’s research, informed by a Vygotskian sociocultural theoretical perspective, into his understanding and use of dialogue journals in an ESL read-ing/writing class. This theoretical perspective is then used to trace the teacher’s emergent sense making in action – in the moment and retrospectively – as he verbalises using a narrative technique called “tiny self talks.” What turned out to be transformative in the teacher’s emergent sense making in action was when students engaged differently with the dialogue journals. Language teacher and researcher of language teachers researching together offers a multifaceted approach to professional development and possibly language teacher cognitions.
Article
Corpus-based language teaching is one area of second language (L2) pedagogy in which L2 teachers may benefit from extensive guidance on how to integrate digital tools into pedagogical practices. Direct corpus approaches like data-driven learning (DDL) cultivate learner engagement and language discovery. However, second language writing (SLW) teachers face significant challenges using corpora in the classroom, and these challenges often go unaddressed in language teacher education, particularly for in-service teachers. This paper reports on a case study in which six university SLW teachers participated in an online corpus-based pedagogy workshop. Teachers developed DDL activity plans and wrote in reflective diaries. The analysis of these artifacts shows that the teachers tended to follow one of two paths toward knowledge integration, as either Planners or Seekers, when implementing corpus activities in their classrooms. The teachers also reported increased confidence in applying direct corpus methods to their lessons by the end of the workshops, though they expressed the need for continued, long-term support.
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