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English Teacher Education in Brazil: a review of past and present practices and future possibilities – Andréa Mattos

2013/10/09

andreamattosAndréa Machado de Almeida Mattos Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil

 The area of language teacher education in Applied Linguistics dates back to the mid 70’s or even before, when the focus was still on training second/foreign language teachers to apply the techniques and strategies of the several methods and approaches to teaching foreign languages (FL) available at the time. The aim of this type of training was only to make teachers familiar with the specific method of instruction so that they would become better teachers in the sense of being specialists in the step-by-step nature of the chosen FL method. Towards the end of 1980’s and throughout the 1990’s there was a big shift in teacher education – away from the perspective of training – adopting a new perspective on teacher development (Richards & Nunan, 1990; Freeman, 1996; Bailey & Nunan, 1996 and several others).

The turn of the millennium has brought yet another perspective on teacher education and development. Critical approaches to EFL teaching and FL teacher education (Norton & Toohey, 2004) have lately raised the interest of researchers in the field. In Brazil, these critical perspectives have been brought into attention after the publication of the National Curriculum Guidelines for High School Teaching (Menezes de Souza & Monte-Mór, 2006), which has fostered suggestions for implementing New Literacy Studies and Critical Literacy in FL classrooms at high school level, especially in public schools.

My own interest in language teacher education stems from those first perspectives cited above (Mattos, 2000) and has developed into these more recent critical approaches (Mattos, 2011; 2012). This presentation has a special interest to me as I intend to focus on my own developmental track from being an English teacher into becoming a FL teacher educator, first focusing on interpretivist and reflective views of teacher education (Mattos, 2000; 2002; 2003; 2007; 2009) and lately also turning into a more critical teacher educator (Mattos, 2011, 2012, 2013).

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