Collaborative Discussion Circles: A Path towards Critical Language Teacher Development

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of English, College of Foreign Languages and Literature, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


The advent of postmethod pedagogy has completely changed today's conceptualization of language teachers, and the importance of powerful teaching has increasingly gained momentum in the field of TESOL. However, contemporary English language teaching contexts suffer a dearth of a workable package to educate the much-needed autonomous postmethod language teachers who are able to have their own contextualized praxis. As such, the present research aims to nurture the required self-growth and self-development in language teachers through forming collaborative professional and critical discussion circles. Enjoying a mixed method research design whose quantitative section included a quasi-experimental design consisting of three phases--a pretest, an educational 12-week long treatment phase, and a posttest--the results of the study gained by two instruments, namely, the reflective teaching questionnaire developed by Akbari et al. (2010) and two similar language teaching episodes, bore witness to the significant changes in the level of reflectiveness of all 13 language teachers who partook in these discussion circles. Developmentally speaking, participating language teachers were found to initiate the whole process, direct it, and finally evaluate the new experiences further along the road. Hence the ideals of teacher development, self-growth and personal development, were accomplished through the study.


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