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MLAL research seminar : A Corpus-Based Analysis of Social Interaction in LTE Contexts

MLAL  research seminar : A Corpus-Based Analysis of Social Interaction in LTE Contexts

An MLAL research seminar will take place tomorrow Wednesday 14th November at 14.00 in A1053, as follows:


A Corpus-based Analysis of Social Interaction in LTE Contexts


Angela Farrell, Elaine Riordan and Fiona Farr (School of MLAL)



This paper examines social interaction in language teacher education contexts, namely teaching practice feedback sessions, classroom discussions, online synchronous and asynchronous discussions, and blog and portfolio entries. We believe there is a need to start developing evidence-based accounts of teacher education interactions to assist those working in the profession (as teachers, researchers and educators) as it is still the case that ‘very little substantial research has been undertaken in teacher education, both in education generally and in the field of language teaching’ (Freeman 2001:74). In response to this research gap, we draw on a range of spoken and written data collected from these contexts differentiated in the following ways: experientially, using teachers along the cline from novice to experienced; educationally, examining pre- and in-service education programmes; by mode of interaction, face-to-face (tutorials, TP feedback, lectures) and online modes of computer-mediated communication (blogs, discussion forums, chat, and e-portfolios); and by interactional relationship paradigms (student teachers with peer tutors, with practice tutors and with lecturers).


Through the use of quantitative and qualitative corpus techniques to investigate the data, we examine how the teachers are socialised into the CoP by means of a linguistic examination of metalanguage, reflective discourse and identity work. We also explore the ways in which various types of social interaction involving different participant paradigms and distinct modes can facilitate this socialisation. This paper closes by considering how the findings presented can feed into a better understanding of professional practices and develop new practice-oriented and research agendas.



Freeman, D. (2001) 'Second language teacher education', in R. Carter and D. Nunan (eds), The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 72-79.

Freeman, D. and Johnson, K. E. (1998) 'Reconceptualizing the knowledge-base of language teacher education', TESOL Quarterly, 32(3): 397-417.