Collaborative Teacher Development: A Teaching and Learning Experience for Two Foreign Language Teachers


Foreign Languages

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Two foreign language (FL) teachers collaborated to design and undertake a project from which they both benefited as teachers and learners. The two teachers brought different perspectives to the project, from their particular situations as: (a) a pre-service FL teacher (of Spanish) nearing the culmination of her teacher preparation program of studies, and (b) an experienced FL teacher (of French) and FL teacher educator. Based on principles of self-reflective inquiry for professional development and guided by ongo-ing collaborative exchange, both teachers benefited from unique opportunities that were generated via situated, experiential learning. The pre-service FL teacher happened into a most distinctive opportunity to revisit the experience of a beginning FL learner and to correlate this first-hand personal experience to her forthcoming role as a FL teacher of Spanish in her own classroom. The experienced teacher discovered a unique opportunity for building on her competencies as a FL teacher in her role as instructor of a begin-ning level, university FL class (French 1001) as well as a singular occasion to advance her growth as a teacher educator, as she collaborated with the pre-service FL teacher who was enrolled as a student in the French 1001 class. Moreover, the results of the collaborative learning experience show promise for repli-cation of the model to benefit other FL teacher candidates as they progress through their university pro-gram of studies, expanding upon FL pedagogical knowledge and skills in an applied manner as learners of a new FL, within a correlate, yet innovative setting, as reflective investigators.