The Potential of Dialogic Interaction as a Tool for Mediating Learning During Pre-service English Language Teacher Preparation

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This research explores the ways in which an emphasis on dialogic interaction may be beneficial to pre-service second language teacher education that is conducted in the context of a UK University degree award. The qualitative research methodology draws on concepts of Action Research and employs tools from sociocultural and classroom discourse analysis, as well as thematic analysis, to analyse the findings. Data were collected from transcribed interactions recorded from feedback sessions taken over the course of a six-month practicum that final year students undertake as part of their TESOL minor degree. Findings from these sessions were triangulated with data from semi-structured interviews conducted after the practicum with seven learner teachers. In addition, data were collected from the seven participants’ reflective journals and from observation notes that were taken during the teaching episodes.

    The findings of the research reveal the ways in which dialogic teaching can promote learning through the creation of opportunities for peer-peer interaction, as well as through dynamic assessment during teacher-led scaffolding. Results also indicated the importance that a linguistic and methodological knowledge base plays in the development of effective dialogic interaction. A number of challenges faced by learner teachers in enacting a communicative approach to language teaching are also uncovered as well as contextual obstacles such as the tension over assessment. The findings support the contention that an extended course of pre-service SLTE affords the time and opportunity for exploratory discussions to facilitate engagement and learning through providing opportunities for the learner-teachers to articulate their emerging understandings while concomitantly addressing their pre-formed pedagogical beliefs. It is argued that dialogic interactions are able to assist in bridging the theory-practice divide by allowing the learner teachers to consider and review the declarative knowledge from their course of education in light of their classroom teaching and learning experiences.
    Date of AwardSept 2014
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorGerald Dunning (Supervisor)

    Cite this