Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

Analysis of a Virtual Community of Practice to Enhance Reflective Teaching in Novice Teachers from Two Colombian Universities

Astrid Ramírez Valencia, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas (Colombia)

Diana Katherine González Ocampo, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas (Colombia)

Manuel Alejandro Salazar, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas (Colombia)


This was a qualitative study, based on grounded theory; aiming to comprehend the different challenges pre service teachers face in their teaching practices and the way a virtual community of practice provided by the use of blogs can become a strategy to develop reflective teaching practices. The problem arose from the need of creating virtual communities of practice between universities in Colombia where students can discuss English teaching challenges and benefits, from their views as novice teachers facing their pre service teaching experience. The data collection instruments were the entries provided by the novice teachers on their community of practice mediated by the blog. The data was analyzed by means of the rounded theory method where procedures such as microanalysis, open codification, axial codification and selective codification were used (Strauss & Corbin, 2008). The preliminary results showed important reflections made in the virtual community of practice related to the challenges Colombian teachers face at the moment of teaching English. The emergent categories were the lack pedagogical and didactic material at schools, the quantity of English hours assigned in every school and motivation in the learning process. The virtual community of practice brought important reflections on the possibility of creating academic networks with different universities despite the distance and how the communities enhance professional development for English teachers. Partial conclusions on the level of importance novice teachers assign to reflective teaching practices were also addressed in the study.

Keywords: Virtual communities of practice, novice teachers, pre service teachers, reflective teaching practices, blog.

[1] Pollard ,A. (2006).Reflective Teaching. London: Continuum.
[2] Shulman, L. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational
[3] Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (2008). Pesquisa qualitativa: Técnicas e procedimentos para o desenvolvimento de teoria fundamentada. (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: Artmed.
[4] Vera, J. (1988). El profesor principiante. Las dificultades de los profesores en los primeros años de trabajo en la enseñanza. Valencia: Promolibro.

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