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Vania Castro, Student, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, United States

Professional Development Programs for Teachers: A Call for a Change in Policy View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Olusegun Sogunro  

Today, the ineffectiveness of professional development programs for teachers cannot be overemphasized. Evidence abounds that most policies governing the planning and conducting professional development programs for teachers have aways been mandated or prescribed by educational leaders with little or no input from the teachers for whom the programs were designed. These policies have always been exclusionary and antithetic to teachers’ motivation to attend professional development programs. This situation prompted the move for a fundamental change in policy focused on addressing teachers’ self-identified felt needs. Through a qualitative case study research design, using survey, interviews, and focus groups, this research brought to the fore, the ineffectiveness of the current practice. Thematic analysis of data yielded four major themes: choice, motivation, effectiveness, and satisfaction. This study proposed a transition from exclusionary to inclusionary organizational policy by educational leaders, thereby providing teachers access to opportunities and resources toward a more meaningful or valuable professional development. Among other things, some of the salient recommendations evolving from this study included granting teachers’ autonomy of choice; personalizing professional development; organizing professional development programs for teachers with common felt needs; transitioning from professional development to professional learning and/or professional learning communities. Implications for practice, leadership, policy, and further research are also discussed.

School Milieu Factors Contributing to the Second-Language Reading Development of Learners: Primary School Teachers’ Experiences in Botswana View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Florah Teane  

This study sheds light on the factors that contribute to the second-language reading development of primary school learners in Botswana. Concerns have been expressed about primary school learners’ inability to read texts in a second language. The situation is so severe that it impedes learners’ progression to higher levels because they have not acquired the communication and writing skills at lower levels. This paper outlines milieu-enhanced factors that contribute to the dilemma. The study is qualitative in nature and was conducted at three primary schools. Purposeful sampling was used to select 18 primary school teachers, six from each school. The data were collected through face-to-face interviews with 10 teachers, two focus groups of nine participants each and observation. The findings revealed that school factors such as insufficient resources, teachers’ lack of expertise and preschool education contributed to low levels of reading development in children at the primary schools. Based on the study, it is recommended that resources in the form of reading material and teachers with expertise be provided to enhance learners’ second-language reading skills. Sending children to preschools will be an added advantage. This study will be beneficial to teachers at primary schools, curriculum developers and national policy makers.

Critical Literacy in Reflective Multimodal Activities in a Pre-service Extension Course in Piauí, Brazil View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Beatriz Gama Rodrigues,  Adriano Sousa  

During initial education, restricted to curricular guidelines, some reflections might not be developed in our universities. In our personal experience, in the English major at Universidade Federal do Piauí (UFPI), it is important to have extension short courses in order to have opportunities to discuss and evaluate issues that are present in our reality as English (future) teachers in the northeast of Brazil. After the quarantine period of COVID-19 pandemic and political and socioeconomical problems that have been present in our lives, we designed an extension course (which was held from November 2022 through January 2023) in which pre-service English teachers, doctoral students and a professor gathered to discuss our views on the role of teaching English as an additional/foreign language in Piauí, from a decolonial perspective. The participants were undergraduate students from the Federal and State Universities of Piauí who elaborated and shared reflections after and during the meetings, throughout multimodal possibilities (KRESS & VAN LEEUWEN, 2001), aiming at resignifying and producing possible changes in our identities as English learners/teachers/researchers and in the linguistic education in Piauí. To achieve that, decolonial (MENEZES DE SOUZA & MONTE MÓR, 2021; QUIJANO, 2000; GROSFOGUEL, 2007) and critical literacy theories (FONSECA & SOL, 2022; MONTE MÓR, 2015; TAKAKI, 2021; FREIRE, 2005) were reviewed and discussed. In this paper, we share some of our analyses on the participants’ productions and reflections and hope to receive contributions to continue developing language teachers’ education and its impact in Piauí.

Digital Media

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