Promoting pre-service second language (L2) teacher learning via narrative: A sociocultural perspective

Ekaterina Arshavskaya, Anne Elrod Whitney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study constitutes a qualitative investigation of a series of interactions between an experienced teacher educator and a pre-service teacher in the context of a teaching English as a second language (ESL) practicum blog. The study demonstrates how the activity of writing a dialogic blog can facilitate teacher professional development. Responding to the recent call to investigate the ways in which teacher engagement in writing (Johnson & Golombek, 2011) can assist teacher learning and given the urge to promote conceptual ways of understanding teaching on the part of the novice teachers (Johnson, 2009), this paper presents a case study that shows both the novice's growth as expressed through writing and reflection in the blog as well the teacher educator's moves designed to foster the novice's learning. A sociocultural perspective on human cognitive development (Vygotsky, 1978) was used as a theoretical framework for tracing the novice's development and capturing the transformative power of the novice's narration as well as the characteristics of the teacher educator's mediation. Our findings indicate that when the teacher educator's mediation is strategically designed, engagement in narrative through a dialogic blog can be a powerful tool for stimulating a novice's more expert understanding of ESL teaching and encouraging the application of that understanding in practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-741
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Language Teaching and Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics


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