Introducing changes in the tertiary language classroom: report on an action research project

Rolin-Ianziti, Jeanne (2005) Introducing changes in the tertiary language classroom: report on an action research project. In Social Change in the 21st Century Conference, 28 October 2005, QUT Carseldine, Brisbane.


Language programs in Australian universities are hiring more and more sessional staff employed on a casual basis to assume the teaching of foreign language courses. Sessional staff include postgraduate students and external staff hired on an hourly basis to teach a specific course. This increase in the number of sessional staff raises the question of their training. Even though some sessional staff are highly qualified and have previous classroom experience, most are at an early stage in their careers and need some help to carry out their language teaching duties efficiently. This paper will report on the initial, exploratory phase of a project aimed at developing a model for the training of sessional staff involved in the teaching of French courses at the University of Queensland. The report will show how contextual constraints such as time and the absence of a formal contract were overcome by introducing an in-service model of teacher training. The main features of the model include the focus on one area of teaching practice, error correction, which has been the object of extensive research in the field of Applied Linguistics, and the use of an action research approach to teacher professional development. The paper will conclude with a discussion on the future of the model. The use of action research combined with the application of findings from academic research may be regarded as innovative aspects of the model. However, further development of this professional in-service training model is very much dependent on the availability of funds to finance mentoring and sessional staff seminars.

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ID Code: 3510
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: foreign language teaching, teacher education, action research, HERN
ISBN: 1741071089
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Jeanne Rolin-Ianziti
Deposited On: 10 Feb 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:30

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