BEYOND PRESCRIPTIVE APPROACHES AND TOWARDS LOCALIZED KNOWLEDGE: THE EXPERIENCES OF ALTERNATIVELY CERTIFIED FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHERS AS THEY ATTEMPT TO IMPLEMENT COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING IN U.S. URBAN SCHOOLS
Alonso Luaces, Maria
University of Kansas
Curriculum and Teaching
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The acknowledgment of the role that diverse sociocultural realities have on teachers’ pedagogical choices have led to the emergence of context-sensitive pedagogies demanding the abandonment of hegemonic discourses such as Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). Studies on CLT’s exportability for non-Western countries have recently proliferated in foreign language literature. Critical studies on the suitability of CLT within disenfranchised communities in the U.S. are however non-existent. This qualitative multicase study addressed a gap in the literature by exploring the situated practices of alternatively certified FL teachers practicing in urban schools in the U.S. Specifically, this study examined a) FL teachers understanding of CLT and b) the contextual factors hindering or promoting the implementation of CLT in urban schools. Using Activity Theory (AT) as an analytical tool, the study unveiled a plethora of tensions between CLT and the pedagogical approaches dominant in urban schools. Finding from this study suggest that a strong culture of rules and assessments, lack of culturally relevant materials and major philosophical incongruence amongst those in charge of participants’ evaluation and development had a strong effect on teachers’ understanding, perception and implementation of CLT. Moreover, lacking the language and professional support they needed to gain agency within the accountability discourse dominant in their urban placements, participants in this study found themselves often voiceless and in need to assimilate. Finally, this study provides recommendations for the future training and support of alternatively certified urban language teachers and pushes for the recognition and promotion of teachers’ localized experiences as valid and important sources of knowledge and expertise.
- Dissertations 
- Education Dissertations and Theses 
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