Volume 27

Explorations in Teacher Development: Volume 27 Issue 3

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In this issue, seven practitioner-researchers offer their experience and learning for potential resonances. In different ways, they all provide a peak behind the curtain of the interrelated development of teachers, curriculum, and pedagogy. All reveal an active beginner’s mind at work of returning to start to get it right, whether through questioning prior assumptions and practices, imagining the position of a novice student to inspire potential lifelong learning journeys, or translating among theories and practices in novel ways.

Takaaki Hiratsuka delineates how Exploratory Practice (EP) and Fanselovian Premises (FP) are powerful concepts not only on their own but also in tandem in second language teacher education. This power is illustrated through successful models of each of these forms of professional development as well as a careful synthesis of how each might lead into and complement the other. This article not only justifies these language teacher development concepts for potentially skeptical and curious readers, but also proposes several promising directions for future research.

John Pryce describes a self-directed teacher development project (TDP) driven by the question of how to most effectively introduce poetry to novices in an L2 classroom. As Pryce emphasizes, he chose poetry for this TDP partly because he had no experience teaching this genre before and therefore pushed him into new territory, but he also chose it for well-founded pedagogical reasons. This article presents and discusses the resulting task-based learning structure, its behind-the-scenes development process, and its recorded results.

Denver Beirne interrogates his own process of developing a model for teaching metaphor, from its initial stages as merely potential support for an engaging activity involving songs to its evolution over multiple iterations into a theoretically sound, carefully scaffolded pedagogical approach to an especially confusing aspect of language. Beirne highlights adjustments in each iteration in response to feedback in the classroom as well as to engagement with the scholarly literature. This article presents a persuasive argument for why and how
language teachers should attend explicitly to metaphor, and in so doing, illustrates how linguistic theory can translate productively into innovative pedagogy.

Kyle Hoover explores the literature on the use of formulaic sequences as an empowering academic writing strategy, and he presents a mini-unit as a carefully developed praxis, demonstrating the translation processes between theory and practice. In this article, Hoover invites readers to take inspiration from this mini-unit not only to teach L2 university student writers how they can more effectively approach writing research paper introductions, but also to explore other ways to foster a broad repertory of sustainable writing strategies through one’s teaching.

Tom Batten reflects on his experience with using reflective diaries in two small junior high school classes, which opened a consistent channel for students to communicate their experience of each lesson to the teachers. This, in addition to Batten’s own reflective entries, prompted epiphanies about learning and teaching, which in turn fed back into his work as a teacher and as a scholar. This article offers inspiration and advice for other teachers to use reflective diaries to illuminate, interrogate, and improve their teaching.

Robert Remmerswaal narrates his own teacher journey, which will undoubtedly resonate with other teachers who have found transformational power in educational theory; but it might also provoke new perspectives on how seemingly detached theories can become creative resources for innovative teachers in concrete settings. This article explores how Remmerswaal moved beyond an apprenticeship of observation and constructed a coherent and meaningful pedagogical approach of his own through engagement with the concepts of situated learning, distributed cognition, and gamification.

Finally, Olya Yazawa investigates through mixed-methods research the effects that teachers have on language learning motivation in a Japanese high school context. This article explores the relationship between autonomy needs support and self-determined motivation and reports on survey results regarding student perceptions of autonomy and motivation. Yazawa encourages other teachers to reflect on the complexities of motivation and autonomy and how they might better promote students’ perceptions of freedom in their English language learning.


Editorial Beginnings: Renewed Calls for Teachers-As-Researchers, Writers, and ReadersNick Kasparek

Exploratory Practice (EP) and Fanselovian Premises (FP) Takaaki Hiratsuka

Concrete Poetry: Introducing an Unfamiliar Literary Genre into the L2 ClassroomJohn Pryce

Reflections on Developing a Model for Teaching MetaphorDenver Beirne

A Mini-Unit for Teaching Introductions with Formulaic Sequences in Academic WritingKyle Hoover

My Experience with Reflective Diaries in the ClassroomTom J. A. Batten

Engaging Students: My Journey from Imitator to InnovatorRobert Remmerswaal

Japanese High School Students’ Perceptions of Autonomy Needs SupportOlya Yazawa

Explorations in Teacher Development: Volume 27 Issue 2 (Special Edition)

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This Teacher Journeys 2020 Conference special issue features 16 highly practical, informative, and personal narratives of issues relating to emergency remote teaching. Our aim with this collection of papers is to not only further document the unique situation that we have found ourselves in over the past year for posterity purposes, but to provide a resource through which we can learn from one another’s experiences.

The papers follow a unified format, with each contribution opening with a short vignette to set the scene and establish the educational context being reflected upon. Following this, authors propose a set of objectives for how their stories could be used by others. The authors then expand upon these objectives by suggesting a variety of detailed practical implications, all aimed at supporting fellow teachers through offering usable ideas for the classroom or general guidance. Finally, each writer concludes their papers with a reflective statement in which they take stock of their experiences from 2020 and make plans for the future.


Michael Ellis, Ewen MacDonald & Matthew W. Turner: From the Editors

Takanori Omura: Developing Teaching Skills Through Teaching University Students: Creating a Deep Bond Among Students under Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT)

Pino Cutrone & Siewkee Beh: Reflections on Teaching EFL in Japanese Universities During the Covid-19 Pandemic: From Surviving to Thriving

Brian G. Rubrecht: Using ARS: Promoting Teacher-Student Interaction at a Distance

Josh Norman: My Journey with Teaching Online Versus Face-to-Face at Two Universities

Krishna Chaitanya: English Language Teachers’ Continuous Professional Development through Reflective Practice

Sammy Woldeab: The New Normal: Using Online Teaching Experiences as a Catalyst for Change

Adrianne Verla Uchida: Reflecting on My Reflections from My ERT Journey

Yukie Saito: Reflections on a University Reading Course Taught Remotely

Tamiko Kondo: What is the ‘Something’ that Online Teaching Lacks and How Can We Make Up for It?

Kendal Rolley: Emergency Remote Teaching in Hanoi: Reflections and Opportunities for Growth

Michael Kuziw: Workplace Transition During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Personal Reflection

Jonathan Isaacson: How the Coronavirus Helped Me Become More Involved at School

Lara Promnitz-Hayashi: The Trials and Tribulations of a Pandemic: From My Camera to Yours

Colin Skeates, Bill Snyder, Chiyuki Yanase & Wendy Gough: Researching English Language Part-time University Lecturer Voices During ERT

Stephanie Lim: An English Classroom in 2020

Rezwana Islam: Teachnology 2020: My Journey from Tech-savvy to Tech-skilled

Explorations in Teacher Development: Volume 27 Issue 1

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This issue contains four submissions that range widely in location, including Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. But they share a common theme of teachers learning about themselves and about teaching from encounters with other teachers and students, and even another activity (surfing).

Sachiko Igarashi writes about how her experiences with intercultural communication (and miscommunication) in professional development have led her to understand the importance of these occasions to her own development as a teacher. She makes a case for Japanese high school teachers taking more advantage of intercultural professional development opportunities and to bring what they learn from them into their classrooms for their students’ benefit.

Michael Ellis recounts what he learned from his experience becoming a non-native speaking Japanese teacher during a school exchange program in Australia. He gained greater awareness of issues facing non-native speaker teachers as well as realizing that students often see their teachers and the language learning experience differently from what teachers might think. He brought this experience back to his job in Japan in ways that have changed how the school where he works operates.

Our longtime contributor James Porcaro points to the importance of words spoken to us by others in encouraging us, motivating us, and shaping how we see ourselves as teachers through recounting five incidents from his career.

And finally, Mike Floquet writes about how the lessons he has learned from surfing have sustained him in opening his own English school in Japan, giving him the courage to take risks and develop success.


Enhancing English teachers’ intercultural communication skills through professional development – Sachiko Igarashi

Becoming a non-native speaking teacher: Reflections as an American teacher of Japanese in an Australian high school – Michael Ellis

Words matter: Instruction, encouragement and affirmation in 5 episodes – James W. Porcaro

Sharks and ladders: What surfing has taught me about starting an English conversation school – Mike Floquet