Continuing Education of English Teachers: Teachers’ Translation of New Knowledge into the Classroom

  • Ingebjørg Mellegård Østfold University College


This qualitative study seeks to gain deeper insight into how primary school teachers translate new knowledge about language learning into the classroom and how they experience development in their teaching practice through their continuing education course in English.

The theoretical framework is rooted in Ertsås and Irgens´ theory on teachers’ learning and professional development (2012). To avoid a dichotomous assumption of theory and practice, Ertsås and Irgens redefine theory as a process, theorising, where teachers gradually take increasingly stronger theory into use in order to reflect on, analyse and reason about their teaching practice.

The data were collected from three equivalent English courses in the autumn semesters of 2015, 2016 and 2017. The participants wrote a reflection text towards the end of their first semester in which they reflected on noticeable development in their own teaching practice. This textual documentary material was analysed primarily from an inductive perspective, then coded and categorised.

This study finds that the most striking evidence of development noted by teachers falls under the categories: using English more actively in the classroom, turning away from translation and teaching vocabulary – from single words to words in context. These findings are seen as a valuable contribution to the design of continuing education courses in English.


Section A