Action Research in Teacher Training Programs

German Studies

In my presentation, I introduced the research background, research context, and the outline of a study in the field of teacher research in German as a foreign language (GFL). The participants of the study took part in a teacher training program called in German Deutsch Lehren Lernen (DLL: Learning to teach German). The blended learning program integrates collaborative research projects rooted in the tradition of action research into its curriculum. I wanted to find out if and how these research projects contributed to the participants´ professional development. Data were collected through qualitative methods. The main instrument of the inquiry was semistructured interviews, which were conducted with twelve participants from different institutions in East Asia. Their academic background as well as their teaching experience varied greatly. Some interesting patterns emerged, which will be pursued in future research. In particular, participants identified benefits concerning their professional knowledge, their self-confidence, and their relationships with colleagues. Moreover, all participants acknowledged the possibility of collaborative learning. Collaboration was not only considered as rewarding but also as challenging, especially when participants worked with partners they exclusively met on the online platform. Collaboration without or with little face-to-face contact is an important aspect for future research. Since virtual learning scenarios become more and more popular, the question arises under which conditions virtual cooperative learning is successful and how favorable conditions can be enhanced.

XIII. Kongress der Internationalen Vereinigung für Germanistik (IVG) (International Association for Germanic Studies), 23.8. – 30.8.2015, Tongji University, Shanghai.

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