Comparing varieties of in-service English Language Training for primary school teachers in Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCoburn, J. (2014). Comparing varieties of in-service English Language Training for primary school teachers in Norway. Acta Didactica Norge - tidsskrift for fagdidaktisk forsknings- og utviklingsarbeid i Norge, 8(2)
International trends show the formal teaching of English starting at an increasingly early age. This presents challenges for national education systems and in particular, for primary schools and for primary school teachers who are not necessarily trained as English teachers. The present study investigates two different ways of organising and designing in-service educational training (INSET) in Norway for those primary school teachers who currently teach English without any formal training as language teachers. One response is a nationally organised programme; the other, a local initiative. The different course contexts are first outlined, and then the course designs are presented using document analysis interspersed with extracts from interviews with teacher trainers. Teachers’ perceptions of some course outcomes are presented. Central themes arising from the comparison are discussed; including the need to organise collaborative learning environments to sustain English subject teacher development, the role which teacher trainers play in fostering change, and the question of what is appropriate subject matter and methodology for INSET courses. The study concludes that a more comprehensive and coherent system of in-service training is required towards 2030. Proposals include short language immersion courses, the training of teachers-as-trainers, and the systematic introduction of networks of primary school English subject teachers to nurture professional development.
This is an Open Access article originally published in Acta Didactica Norge. You can access the article by following this link: http://adno.no/index.php/adno/article/view/352