Points of Departure: Developing the Knowledge Base of ESL and FSL Teachers for K-12 Programs in Canada
The Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics
In this paper, I examine the contextual factors that impact the development of knowledge base of teachers of English as a second language (ESL) and French as a second language (FSL) for teaching in Kindergarten through Grade 12 programs in Ontario. Using a sociocultural orientation to second language teacher education and prominent knowledge base frameworks from the field, I discuss how a variety of local contextual factors impact the development of teacher candidates’ (TC) knowledge base in pre-service teacher education programs in Canada. Individual factors include: the linguistic and cultural backgrounds of candidates’ in ESL and FSL programs, the TCs’ language proficiency in the target language, their personal experiences and understanding of language development, and their familiarity with real life experiences of ESL and FSL students. Beyond their own experiences, integral to TCs knowledge base are the range of student populations they could serve and the variety of language teaching contexts they can encounter in the Ontario context. I discuss the implications of such nuances for policy and practice in language teacher education programs across Canada.