EFL Teachers’ Learning: Transitional Experiences from an Overseas Teacher Education Program to Japanese School Settings

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Yuka Kurihara, Tokai University

Drawing on Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory of mind as a conceptual framework, I discuss the nature of L2 teachers’ learning to teach. In particular, I examine how EFL teachers who participated in overseas teacher education programs for professional development and returned to their native countries appropriated the pedagogical resources (hereinafter tools) presented in the programs into their own classroom instruction. EFL teachers’ experiences are complex because their learning involves not only transferring the tools but also negotiating cultural boundaries between the two key contexts. Three secondary school English teachers from Japan, four U.S. program instructors, and two school administrators in Japan participated in this qualitative case study. The cases illustrated that an individual teacher’s process of learning and the social world were intricately interwoven and influenced one another. The teachers also attempted to (re)construct new knowledge about ELT by negotiating cross-cultural challenges. Implications for L2 teacher education programs are discussed.