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Volume 13 Number 2, Summer 2016, Pages 72-161 PDF Download

Dialogic Competence of Primary School English Teachers in Online Peer Coaching: A Case Study in South Korea

    Yuko Goto Butler & Kyungsook Yeum

As demand for ongoing teacher professional development grows, interest in peer coaching through teacher observations has been on the rise. One hindrance to the successful implementation of peer coaching has been teachers' general lack of ability to analyze their peers' lessons and provide useful feedback. We implemented an online peer-coaching program for five Korean primary school English teachers, aiming to better understand the nature of the teachers' abilities to observe, analyze, and exchange feedback in order to enhance their self-reflection and mutual learning. We found that, in peer coaching, teachers need to (a) engage in internal dialogues using their own knowledge and experience to interpret their peers' behaviors and intentions (which we refer to as intradialogues) and then (b) verbalize their intradialogues, in the process dynamically modifying and negotiating the content with others (referred to as interdialogues). A qualitative examination of both types of dialogues over a 4-month period revealed the abilities necessary for effective peer coaching. Such abilities, which we call dialogic competence, comprise attitudinal elements and actional elements.

Keywords: primary English, peer coaching, professional development, English as a foreign language, competence, dialogue, teacher education, online training, English only