About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 6104 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0384

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

UNDERGRADUATE PRIMARY TRAINEE TEACHERS ‘FACING THEIR FEARS’ IN PRIMARY LANGUAGES

M. Seymour1, A. Woodgate-Jones2, S. Witt1

1University of Winchester (UNITED KINGDOM)
2University of Southampton (UNITED KINGDOM)
Primary schools in England have seen the recent introduction of foreign languages as a statutory subject in the National Curriculum for children aged 7-11. This new statutory status poses a challenge, not only for existing primary teachers but also for trainee teachers entering the profession. This challenge primarily presents itself in terms of a lack of secure teacher subject knowledge and concerns about modelling pronunciation (Jones and McLachlan, 2009).

This presentation shares the initial findings from a research project which was undertaken with a group of twenty two non-language specialist primary trainee teachers and explores their learning journey as they engage in planning and teaching a foreign language in a local primary school for the first time. For some, their journey began in anxiety and, as tutors, we recognised that we had led many of the students out of their comfort zones in an attempt to explore the extent to which they were willing and able to face their fears, take risks and transform their attitudes to foreign language teaching. Iredale, Orr, Bailey and Wormwald (2013) argue that such opportunities for trainee teachers to take risks are crucial in fostering confidence on their journey to praxis (p2) and our work was founded on this premise and on the belief that when placed in ‘a challenging situation people will respond, rise to the occasion and overcome their hesitancy or fear and grow as individuals.’ (Brown, 2008:3).

The findings of our study, illustrated through our ‘Realm of Possibility’ model (adapted from Pannicucci in Brown, 2008:3), suggest that some students were, indeed, able to face their fears and move through the ‘groan zone’ to a ‘realm of possibilities’; a place of development and learning where students’ self-doubt has been replaced by a renewed sense of professional confidence and competence. Other students, however, struggled to embrace the challenges they faced and experienced inertia in relation to their ability to risk-take and therefore to develop their confidence. This small-scale study appears to support Cajkler and Hall (2012) who suggest that engaging successfully with languages depends not only on linguistic skills but also on having a positive attitude which is open to possibilities.

This paper attempts to draw some tentative conclusions about the disparity in the attitude of some trainees as evidenced in our findings and also considers the wider implications for teachers, school leaders and teacher educators.
@InProceedings{SEYMOUR2016UND,
author = {Seymour, M. and Woodgate-Jones, A. and Witt, S.},
title = {UNDERGRADUATE PRIMARY TRAINEE TEACHERS ‘FACING THEIR FEARS’ IN PRIMARY LANGUAGES},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0384},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0384},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {6104}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Seymour AU - A. Woodgate-Jones AU - S. Witt
TI - UNDERGRADUATE PRIMARY TRAINEE TEACHERS ‘FACING THEIR FEARS’ IN PRIMARY LANGUAGES
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0384
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 6104
EP - 6104
ER -
M. Seymour, A. Woodgate-Jones, S. Witt (2016) UNDERGRADUATE PRIMARY TRAINEE TEACHERS ‘FACING THEIR FEARS’ IN PRIMARY LANGUAGES, ICERI2016 Proceedings, p. 6104.
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