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Second-language learning and teaching: When lived experience and second-language acquisition knowledge collide

Margaret Kitchen

Grounded in a research project relating to the use of academic reading to support learning for TESSOL (Teaching English to Speakers in Schools of Other Languages) teachers, this article focuses on the experiences of Mei in a specialised professional learning and development (PLD) programme. Mei’s case illustrates how TESSOL teachers’ own experiences of second-language learning at school can conflict with approaches to teaching and learning that are emphasised within PLD. This raises questions for PLD educators about favoured sociocultural and collaborative approaches to engagement with academic reading and the role of individual reading within PLD. At the same time, the findings validate a need for wider familiarity with second-language acquisition knowledge within school curriculum and valuing of bilingualism by teachers, to support learners like Mei.

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