• Bringing languages to life: a longitudinal study of the development of creative practice in student teachers of modern languages

      Hulse, Bethan; University of Chester (SAGE, 2017-12-29)
      This article reports the findings of a longitudinal study exploring the process of learning to teach modern languages in the changing landscape of teacher education. It employs a postmodern critical ethnographic methodology to examine the experiences of a group of student teachers over the course of a one-year postgraduate teacher education programme in England. The focus is on how experiences in university and in school encourage or discourage the development of creativity. The schools inspectorate, Ofsted, is critical of lifeless teaching which fails to inspire young people to learn languages. However, the pressures of ‘performative’ requirements act as a discouragement to creativity. The data indicates that whilst student teachers express a desire to be more creative, they find it difficult to implement their ideas in school. A post-structuralist analysis of Marx’s theory of alienation is employed to argue that the early formation of professional identity is a process of acquiescence to oppressive external structures over which individuals have no control. The study concludes that it is possible to create spaces where the temporary suspension of alienation can allow individuals to put life back into language learning.
    • Process Drama as a tool for teaching modern languages:supporting the development of creativity and innovation in early professional practice

      Hulse, Bethan; Owens, Allan; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2017-02-10)
      This paper reflects on issues arising from a research-informed learning and teaching project intended to enable student teachers of Modern Languages (MLs) to experiment with the use of unscripted ‘process drama’ in their classroom practice. The idea that process drama could become part of the language teacher’s repertoire has been in circulation for some time (Kao and O’Neill, 1998; Bräuer, 2002; Fleming, 2006; Stinson and Freebody, 2006; Giebert, 2014) yet there is little evidence to suggest that its use has become widespread in schools in England. The aim of the project was to enable student teachers to acquire drama teaching techniques which they could incorporate into their own practice in order to enrich the learning experiences their students through creative and imaginative use of the foreign language in the classroom. The research was undertaken over a period of three years by two teacher educators on a secondary initial teacher education programme in a university in England. The paper concludes that it is both possible and desirable for student teachers to encounter alternative approaches which challenge the norm and that with support they may develop innovative practices which can survive the ‘the ‘crucible of classroom experience’ (Stronach et al. 2002, p.124).