Exploring graduate teachers' perceptions of their praxis after an AELS course

Laura Jane Arnold


While speakers of English as an additional language are more common than native English speakers, most English teachers do not know how to teach plurilingual learners in their classrooms. Though studies have looked at the effect of teacher education on praxis, there is a dearth of studies in South Africa that have examined teachers’ perceptions of their praxis after a course on bilingual education models and practices. This study investigates whether in-service teachers feel that the ‘Paradigms and Methods in Applied English Language Studies’ course helped them to further develop their praxis. Students’ weekly reflection pieces were examined for evidence of critical reflection before interviews were conducted with three students who have taught, or are currently teaching in under-resourced areas. All participants reported that they had developed a more bilingual teaching praxis, but they often felt unsure of how to practically implement their learning from the course. Based on this finding two recommendations to lecturers and course coordinators of AELS courses are provided. Teacher praxis could be strengthened by 1) referring students to articles on bilingual education models and practices that mirror their teaching contexts and 2) explicitly teaching students how to reflect on implementing the theories that they have learned during the course within their classrooms. 


Praxis; Black South African English (BSAE); code-switching; Englishes; habitus; Teacher education; transitional bilingualism; translanguaging

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5785/31-3-584


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