Michael Winans PhD Defense: 'Professionalization of Second Language Teacher Education Students'

Committee: Aya Matsuda (Chair), Bryan Smith, and Mark James.  ::  ABSTRACT: This dissertation explores the professionalization of students enrolled in second language teacher education (SLTE) and their perceptions of the characteristics and obligations of a professional second language teacher (SLT). The sociocognitive approach forms the theoretical foundation, which sees humans as life-long learners and teachers, who adapt by progressively aligning with others and their ecosocial environment. Professionalization is seen as the socialization process of progressive alignment that involves the development of skills, knowledge, identities, norms, and values within a professional community of practice. An SLTE course was observed in an etic ethnographic tradition, all course materials were collected, and semi-structured interviews that focused on SLT professionalism were conducted with 13 participants. Data were analyzed using the lenses of language socialization and membership categorization analysis (MCA) to make visible target phenomena related to professionalization. Language socialization revealed instances of professionalization that took place during the SLTE course or that resulted from processes during the semi-structured interviews, which were illuminated by positive or negative affiliation. MCA revealed participant perceptions about the obligations and characteristics of a professional SLT, from which six themes emerged, which include interacting with students, methods and materials, teacher attributes, student attributes, and the concepts of schools and schooling, which broadly represent the synchronic and diachronic sociocultural contexts for SLTE respectively. The use of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) received further attention. 100% of participants expressed some willingness to use these tools, but 23% had an initial reactionary response that rejected CALL in favor of more traditional methods. Additionally, 54% of responses included unsolicited mentions of the Covid-19 pandemic in a misinterpretation of CALL. Interventions for those with a misinterpretation are suggested to orient CALL appropriately in the context of the pandemic and for 21st century language learning and teaching. Course materials were quantitatively analyzed using semantic similarity indices in an exploratory process with negligible results. Possible modifications are discussed that might result in a useful proxy statistic for professionalization. Further implications are discussed in relation to SLTE curriculum and professionalization along with perspectives about building rapport when using semi-structured interviews as a research method.

This event takes place online (https://asu.zoom.us/j/82634089410).

Sheila Luna
Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, 2 p.m.

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