From Trained to Research Teachers: Finding a Voice

Dr. Alida Vizcaino,
Dr. Jose Lobo
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English language instructors in Colombia normally see teaching as a set of skills to be used in the language classroom. When they go to training seminars they focus on tips and specific activities to survive in their day by day teaching profession. Teachers tend to become educational technicians. Thus, teacher training does not necessarily equate with teacher education, let alone educational research.

Two research questions guided this experimental study: 1) What impact does the change from teacher training to educational research have on university teachers' methodology and teaching attitudes? 2) How does teacher research experience influence undergraduate students' achievement and motivation towards learning English as a foreign language?

To find answers to the above research questions, the researchers selected five teachers at the language centre of a private university on the Caribbean Coast of Colombia and instructed them on the principles and procedures of educational research. Other data sources were one audio taped semi-structured interview with each of the involved teachers, one focus group with students, class observations and field notes. Data were transcribed, coded and analysed using qualitative methods.

Results indicate that, by using research, these teachers from a developing country were able to articulate a voice to propose new ways of teaching. Pedagogical suggestions are included.

Keywords: Educational Research, Teacher Education, English, Teacher Training, Voice
Stream: Language, Linguistics
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Trained to Research Teachers, From

Dr. Alida Vizcaino

full time professor, Language Center, Universidad Tecnologica de Bolivar

Dr. Jose Lobo

Academic Coordinator, Language Centre, Universidad Tecnologica de Bolivar

Dr José Lobo has an MA in Intercultural Communication with emphasis in American Culture from the University of Maryland. He obtained a Doctorate in Education and Literacy in Second Language from the University of Cincinnati in April 2002. Dr Lobo has been a teacher at the Wolverhampton Polytechnic (England), University of Maryland (USA), University of Cincinnati (USA), Universidad del Norte, and Universidad del Atlántico. He has published articles in the Proceedings: "Impacting the Dialogue", of the Spring Research Conference of the University of Cincinnati , Northern Kentucky University and University of Kentucky. He has also presented at AERA (American Educational Research Association) in New Orleans (Louisiana), at TESOL International in Baltimore (Maryland), and at the Spring Research Conference in Northern Kentucky University (Covington , Kentucky).

Ref: H05P0090