Vol. 4. No. 2 A-1 November 1999
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Teachers talking about teaching: Creating conditions for reflection

Thomas S C Farrell
National Institute of Education
Division of English Language & Applied Linguistics


Reflective teaching refers to teachers subjecting their beliefs and practices of teaching to a critical analysis. One way to promote reflective practice is for teachers to form teacher development groups. This paper reports on one such teacher development group in Korea. The focus of the report is the role co-operative talk played during group meetings in assisting four English as foreign language (EFL) teachers to reflect on their professional practice. Results show that interaction in the group was complex and that there were two interactional phases in the process. Interaction in Phase I was mostly between the group organizer and the participants. However, Phase II was represented by more sustained interaction among the participants themselves. Some of the outcomes of the study discussed include the use of silence and choice of topic, the type of talk and the role of the leader in both phases. It is hoped that the results of this study can be used as a guide for other groups of EFL teachers who come together to reflect on their work.

Keywords: Reflection, ESL/EFL Teacher Development, Groups, Conversation

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