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Reflective Writing for Language Teachers

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Reflective practice is now seen as a major component of teacher education and professional development programs worldwide. This book is one of the first to show how this technique can be embraced by language teachers. It makes sense that for those whose job it is to teach writing, a good way to be reflective is by writing regularly about their work. Reflective Writing for Language Teachers shows language teachers how they can use writing as a way to subject their beliefs and practices to critical reflection and offers them a means of using this type of reflective practice for professional development purposes.

When language teachers write about various facets of their work over a period of time, and then read over their entries looking for patterns, that is, seeing their own thoughts, they may uncover aspects of their practice that they had not realized before beginning to write reflectively. Reflective writing develops language teachers’ understanding of their practice and also leads to a clarification of the values and assumptions that underlie those practices.

Reflective Writing for Language Teachers explores the impact of regular writing as a reflective tool for teachers of English as a second language, other language teachers, and classroom English or language arts teachers. The book begins with a discussion on professional development and then outlines what reflective practice involves. It also addresses such issues as self-reflection, self-discovery through narrative reflective writing, the reflective journal, reflecting on the first and the later years of teaching, reflecting with the aid of teacher development groups, and reflecting for action.

This title has recently been published in Arabic by the King Abdullah Institute for Translation and Arabization.

Published: Oct 1, 2012

Book Contributors


Section Chapter Authors
Acknowledgements Thomas S. C. Farrell
Editor's Preface Thomas S. C. Farrell
Introduction Thomas S. C. Farrell
Professional Development Thomas S. C. Farrell
Reflective Practice Thomas S. C. Farrell
Writing as Reflective Practice Thomas S. C. Farrell
The Reflective Teaching Journal Thomas S. C. Farrell
Narrative Reflective Writing Thomas S. C. Farrell
Reflecting in the First Year(s) and Beyond Thomas S. C. Farrell
Reflecting For Action Thomas S. C. Farrell
The Last Word on Reflection?
The Last Word on Reflection? Thomas S. C. Farrell
References Thomas S. C. Farrell
Index Thomas S. C. Farrell

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The book makes a significant contribution to a new way that language teaching professionals (whether novice or experienced), especially non-native English speaking professionals, improve teaching practices by engaging in systematic reflective practice through writing, analysing, and reflecting on teaching stories, critical incidents in teaching, and case studies concerning the teaching practices. After reading this book and actively completing various teaching journal writing activities provided in each chapter, one will find themselves familiar with and enthusiastic about reflective writing practices and will be encouraged to adopt this practice as a tool to improve their quality of teaching and learning.
Australian Review of Applied Linguistics

I found the book very well organized and really easy to dip into. Not something a teacher needs to read at one go. Each chapter is structured into short parts with writing tasks that a teacher could do in their teaching journal. Reflective writing while learning about reflective writing – a kind of loop feedback and an approach that would make the book suitable for a professional development course. Particularly strong are the “Preamble” sections beginning each chapter. I really enjoyed how the author kept things personal and related his own experiences as they applied to the topic at hand. I gobbled these up and in fact throughout the book, you’ll find a lot of personal backdrop and discussion based on experiences all English language teachers can relate to.
Teacher Talk blog, March 2013

The book is well written and has a number of strengths in terms of its accessibility, practicality and applicability.
Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching