What Drives Your Classroom Teaching?

A fundamental aspect of teachers’ thinking is their practical pedagogical wisdom (Shulman 1987), consisting of maxims that guide what they do in their classrooms. For language teachers, these maxims are represented as their personal theories of the nature of language, how language is learned, and how it should be taught. Together with general and specialised teaching knowledge, this constitutes an overall model of language teacher knowledge.

In this presentation I will offer suggestions on how teachers can interrogate and develop their practical pedagogical wisdom in order to support improvements to their classroom practice. I will begin by outlining recent research I have carried out investigating teachers’ beliefs about what language is, how a second language is learned, and what is effective methodology for teaching English as a second language. I will then present a rubric which can be used by language teachers to support better understandings of their personal theories related to their teaching, and to develop those theories in line with current developments in the fields of ELT and Applied Linguistics in such a way that they can achieve improvements in their teaching.