Learning to Teach: Instructional Actions and Decisions of Preservice ESL Teachers

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This study examines the instructional actions and decisions of preservice English as a second language teachers during their initial teaching experiences. Six preservice ESL teachers viewed videotapes of their own teaching and provided recall comments that detailed their instructional decisions while teaching. Transcriptions of videotaped lessons along with corresponding recall comments were examined to determine the ways in which these teachers perceived and responded to student input during second language instruction, the instructional decisions they made, and the prior knowledge they considered while making those decisions. The results suggest that preservice ESL teachers' instructional actions were directed by unexpected student responses and the desire to maintain the flow of instructional activities. Their instructional decisions were overwhelmingly influenced by the need to ensure student understanding, to increase student motivation and involvement, and to maintain control over instructional management. The findings of this study highlight the cognitive demands placed on preservice ESL teachers and support the need for second language teacher preparation programs to provide opportunities for preservice ESL teachers to understand the dynamics of how they think and act as they learn to teach. 1992 TESOL International Association

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-535
Number of pages29
JournalTESOL Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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