Teacher talk at three stages of English language teacher career development: a corpus-aided study
Brennan Seely, Jane
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Classroom discourse (CD) and teacher talk (TT) have received much attention over the years across a range of research perspectives, from qualitative case studies of individual teacher narratives to large-scale quantitative research using corpus linguistics (CL) tools. The present study aims to combine the affordances of qualitative and quantitative approaches by using a mixed-method research design to examine the espoused beliefs and classroom discourse of fifteen English language teachers at three stages of career development: novice, developing, and expert. Under the theoretical framework of expert–novice research (e.g. Dreyfus and Dreyfus 1980, 1986; Berliner 1988, 1989; Bereiter and Scardamalia 1993; Tsui 2003, 2005), the present study incorporates corpus-linguistic and discourse-analytical (DA) methodology using a corpus-assisted discourse studies (CADS) approach (e.g. Partington 2008) in the analysis of two original, spoken corpora, built for the purposes of this research. The first is a corpus of classroom talk titled the ‘Dublin Corpus of Teacher Talk’ (DUBCOTT) and the second is a corpus of face-to-face interviews with the same teachers, titled the ‘Teacher Interview Corpus’ (TIC). Although commonly used to investigate classroom discourse, there is currently a dearth of studies into teacher cognition, in particular the area of teacher beliefs specifically using CL approaches. Using a CADS approach in the analysis of a corpus of face-to-face teacher interviews allows the researcher to identify beliefs and perceptions of teachers at different career stages through the use of thematic analysis, complemented by CL tools, particularly frequency, cluster and keyword analyses Analysis of how teachers at three career stages talk about their teacher talk is conducted concurrently with an examination of classroom discourse at each of the stages, with particular focus on operationalisation of initiation and feedback acts. As well as identifying patterns of language use specific to each stage, overall results indicate the presence of some shared beliefs and approaches of teachers at all three stages, while clearly showing the differentiation and change in beliefs and approaches across the three career stages.
Corpus aided discourse studies