Over the past 20 years, there has been increasing interest in exploring
what language teachers believe (Borg, 2006). Often these beliefs are expressed
in terms of metaphors (Richards, 1998; Woodward, 1991), but there has been
little recent research connecting the two strands. The present study is based
on the personal reflections of a group of 72 trainee teachers in a Malaysian
University after a three-month practicum in local high schools. In these
reflections, as well as currently fashionable constructs such as facilitator
and motivator, these students often described their perceptions of the role of
the language teacher using various metaphors. The wide range of metaphors
volunteered by these trainee teachers were coded into various categories, such
as terms relating to facilitating, mentorship, entertaining and kinship. This
presentation will discuss a number of these, and also quote some of the
trainees’ comments in support of their chosen metaphor, which thereby revealstheir underlying beliefs
about teaching and learning. Relating their professional activity to other
roles illuminates not only what teachers themselves believe, but also
reinvigorates notions of (language) teaching itself. One of the implications of
this study is that teacher educators, both in the specific setting and in
relatable contexts elsewhere, can incorporate such metaphors into their
programmes and in this way reimagine, refine and redefine the role of the
language teacher for the benefit of their students, and themselves.
Cite this paper
Hasim, Z. , Tunku Mohtar, T. , Barnard, R. & Zakaria, A. (2013). Metaphors Used by Malaysian Teachers-in-Training: Implications for Language Teacher Education. Creative Education, 4,
74-77. doi: 10.4236/ce.2013.49B015
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