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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


What Actually are Foreign Language Teachers Trying to do in their Lessons?

Bernard Hird.

Language teachers are exposed to a vast range of perspectives and advice regarding the nature of their work. Theoreticians offer pronouncements about what teachers should be doing, parents have views about what they would like teachers to be doing and students, too, have ideas about what they think their teachers are doing. This study examines the views of language teachers themselves about what they do in their lessons and why they do what they do. It draws on classroom lessons and teacher interviews and explores the teachers' constructions of their own teaching principles and how their practices reflect these principles. Data from teachers of French, Italian and German in an Australian setting show the complexity in the factors that affect their classroom practices as they strive to balance the often conflicting influences of communicative pedagogy, external examinations, historical expectations in teaching a foreign language, nature of today's students.


Bernard Hird  (Australia)
Senior Lecturer
School of Education
Edith Cowan University

Bernard Hird has been involved in second language teacher education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia for many years. He has taught EFL in China and the Seychelles. His research interests are students' learning styles and teacher beliefs

  • Foreign language

(30 min Conference Paper, English)