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Cambridge Elements Language Teaching

Cambridge Elements Language Teaching

Cambridge University Press, 2022-2023.

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About this Cambridge Elements series
Language teaching as a field of study straddles the disciplines of education and applied linguistics (and at times other disciplines such as applied psychology and applied sociology). As societies have become increasingly mobile, language teaching practices have changed to keep pace with changing learners’ needs. Globalisation has led to dramatic changes in language pedagogies, both in terms of the rise of global lingua franca such as English, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic, as well as issues surrounding language teaching in immigrant communities.
As language teaching has developed as a distinct academic field, some scholars have observed a widening gap between researchers and practitioners, accompanied by limited exposure to research by teachers, and a disconnect between professional and academic publications. This elements series aims to close this gap by allying research with language teaching practices, in its exploration of research-informed pedagogy, and pedagogy-informed research. The series builds upon a rich history of pedagogical research in its exploration of new insights within the field of language teaching.

Intercultural and Transcultural Awareness in Language Teaching
The central aim of language teaching is typically to prepare learners to communicate through the language learnt. However, much current language teaching theory and practice is based on a simplistic view of communication that fails to match the multilingual and intercultural reality of the majority of second language (L2) use. This Element examines the relationship between language and culture through an L2 in intercultural and transcultural communication.
It puts forward the argument that we need to go beyond communicative competence in language teaching and focus instead on intercultural and transcultural awareness. Implications for pedagogic practice are explored including intercultural and transcultural language education.

Mediating Innovation through Language Teacher Education
This Element examines how pedagogical innovation in language classrooms can be mediated through language teacher education (LTE) by subjecting the author's own practices as a teacher educator to scrutiny. Starting from the premise that implementing innovation can be a challenging enterprise, effective LTE is framed as being built on helping practitioners to recognise and confront often deeply-rooted beliefs and adjust subsequent practices through critical reflection on what an innovation may look like both theoretically and practically. A critically reflective lens is then applied to the author's own work as a teacher educator over several years through a research approach known as self-study of teacher education practices or S-STEP.
The approach highlights changes to the author's beliefs and practices as lessons emerged from beginning teachers' engagement with innovative ideas. These are presented with the aim of better understanding how teachers' beliefs and practices with regard to innovation can be enhanced effectively.

Pedagogical Translanguaging
Learning through the medium of a second or additional language is becoming very common in different parts of the world because of the increasing use of English as the language of instruction and the mobility of populations. This situation demands a specific approach that considers multilingualism as its core. Pedagogical translanguaging is a theoretical and instructional approach that aims at improving language and content competences in school contexts by using resources from the learner's whole linguistic repertoire.
Pedagogical translanguaging is learner-centred and endorses the support and development of all the languages used by learners. It fosters the development of metalinguistic awareness by softening of boundaries between languages when learning languages and content. This Element looks at the way pedagogical translanguaging can be applied in language and content classes and how it can be valuable for the protection and promotion of minority languages.

Reflective Practice in Language Teaching
This Element examines the concept of reflective practice in language teaching. It includes a brief description of what reflective practice is and how it is operationalized by two of its main protagonists, John Dewey and Donald Schoen, as well as some of the limitations of their conceptions. This is used as an introduction to how the author further developed their conceptions when operationalizing reflective practice for language teachers through a five-stage framework for reflecting on practice for language teachers.
The author then presents an in-depth case study of the reflections of an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher working in Costa Rica as he moved through the five stages of the framework for reflecting on practice. The author then goes on to outline and discuss how reflective practice may be moved forward and calls attention to the importance of emotions in the process of reflection for language teachers.

Task-Based Language Teaching
This Element is a guide to task-based language teaching (TBLT), for language instructors, teacher educators, and other interested parties. The work first provides clear definitions and principles related to communication task design. It then explains how tasks can inform all stages of curriculum development.
Diverse, localized cases demonstrate the scope of task-based approaches. Recent research illustrates the impact of task design (complexity, mode) and task implementation (preparation, interaction, repetition) on various second language outcomes. The Element also describes particular challenges and opportunities for teachers using tasks.
The epilogue considers the potential of TBLT to transform classrooms, institutions, and society.

Teaching Young Multlingual Learners
This Element provides an overview of research focusing on language teaching practices for young multilingual learners in primary classrooms in English-speaking contexts. The term 'young multilingual learner' refers to primary school children, with ages ranging from approximately 5 to 12 years old at various English language proficiency levels. Pedagogy-informed research studies conducted in K-5 classrooms are used to develop research-informed pedagogies for young multilingual learners in primary classrooms.
The authors use the notion of culturally sustaining teaching practices to provide examples from pedagogy-informed research studies. The focus on early (K-3) and intermediate (4-5) grades provides a range of illustrations of such practices. The Element concludes with implications for teacher education and the preparation of teachers of young multilingual learners.

Technology and Language Teaching
This Element is a practical guide for language teachers intending to upgrade their online teaching. During the COVID-19 pandemic many teachers were forced to move their teaching online without proper preparation and support. This has led to frustration and stress, and sometimes decisions based not on sound pedagogy but on technological constraints, requirements and opportunities.
To balance this negative experience, a research-based, pedagogy-focussed approach has been taken in this volume: step-by-step, teachers are shown how to make decisions about the choice and usage of online tools, how to adapt their pedagogy and teaching strategies to fit with online learning environments, and how to create a positive learning experience for their students. In six sections this Element takes teachers from epistemological considerations to learning theories, from teacher-centred to learner-centred online tuition, and from technological needs to pedagogic choice, ending with suggestions on how to future-proof language teaching.

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