September 2005
Volume 9, Number 2

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Interdisciplinary Team Teaching as a Model for Teacher Development

Timothy Stewart
Kumamoto University, Japan

Bill Perry
Peace Corps Romania


The education literature has increasingly called for collaboration between teachers as a way to enhance the quality of teaching. In the TESOL field, content-based language teaching and English for Specific Purposes approaches are being more widely adopted. These developments call for increased collaboration between language teachers and colleagues in the subject-area disciplines. This study investigates how interdisciplinary contact between language and content specialists might be viewed as a possible model for teacher development. By teacher development we mean the ability to make adjustments to one's teaching practices according to the demands of a curriculum, learner needs and the institution where a teacher works. For this study, fourteen practicing team teachers were interviewed over a two-year period at an English-medium liberal arts college in Japan. The interviews were all recorded on video tape and were transcribed for later content analysis. Analyses of these interview transcripts generated a model for effective partnership in interdisciplinary team teaching. This model is presented in the paper through the words of the team teachers. The paper concludes by highlighting what the interviewees said were the elements of effective partnership in team teaching, as well as recommending what institutions and individual teachers can do to encourage effective partnership in team teaching.

Keywords:EFL, ESL, Team teaching, Second Language Teacher Development, Collaboration, Japan

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