Intercultural dialogue with Indonesian state sector language teacher educators about the epistemology of ELT INSET

Doctoral Studies Completed Theses – 2014 Archive

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Neil England

PhD thesis, conferred 2014

This is a study through, and of, intercultural dialogue about the epistemology of in-service courses (INSET) for Indonesian primary and secondary state sector teachers of English. The dialogue was with the local experienced and novice language teacher educators from the English Department of an INSET centre attached to the Indonesian Ministry of National Education. The dialogue took place in Indonesia and was conducted almost exclusively in English.

Beliefs about the epistemology of INSET in English language teaching (ELT INSET) are understood to be the value attached to, and the perceived relationship between, the different forms of language teacher knowledge that feature in the ELT INSET classroom.

The participants’ epistemological beliefs were co-constructed through different forms of dialogue, incorporated in a range of activities designed both for research and professional learning purposes. These activities included the observation of, and post-observation dialogue about, two of the experienced language teacher educators’ ELT INSET classroom practices. The study of intercultural dialogue dimension to the thesis is a product of a reflexive stance on such activities in an intercultural context where issues of language, power, rapport and role expectations were heightened.

The participants’ epistemological beliefs were found to reflect much current international thinking about language teacher learning, and there were numerous areas of correspondence between stated beliefs and observed ELT INSET classroom practices. The dialogue “pushed” the participants to make principled justifications of their ELT INSET classroom practices, and to consider additional and alternative practices.

The study makes a range of recommendations related to the spirit, scope, sequence, content and management of intercultural dialogue about the epistemology of ELT INSET, for both research and language teacher educator professional learning purposes.

Supervisor: Associate Professor Lesley Harbon