The Value of Reflection in Writing Courses in ELT Preservice Teacher Education Programs

| November 5, 2006
Title
The Value of Reflection in Writing Courses in ELT Preservice Teacher Education Programs

Keywords: syllabus, reflection, reflective, teacher education, writing, writing skills course

Authors
Dr Arda Arikan

Bio Data
Dr Arda Arikan holds a PhD from the College of Education, Penn State University, specializing in Language and Literacy Education, and Bilingual and Multicultural Education. He has been researching educational anthropology and cultural studies, literature teaching, materials development, and teacher education. Currently, he is interested in ELT materials development, coursebook assessment, and practicum.

Abstract
Constructivist theory has brought significant momentum to all aspects of teacher education. Currently, personal growth of the individual in educational domains is so important that teacher candidates are asked to develop their reflective skills in many courses so that they grow by having internalized and problematized the issues under study by gauging them themselves. The aim of this paper is to report on an experimental syllabus design used in a Writing Skills course offered at a Turkish University s English Language Teaching department. In this syllabus, by using the insight derived from constructivist theory, topics related to English language teaching are merged with reflective writing and the knowledge derived from reading traditional academic writing through activities such as discussion, peer reviewing, and journal keeping. Along with the application of this syllabus, a rubric is designed and proposed by the researcher/ instructor to measure students writing. The results of this curricular undertaking showed that when students were asked to write academically by using their developing professional and practical knowledge in a reflective manner, they were highly motivated by the writing task at hand.

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Category: Teaching Articles, Volume 16