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REVIEWS 427

JACK C. RICHARDS and DAVID NUNAN (eds.): Second Language


Teacher Education. Cambridge University Press, 1990.
This volume is an exploration of theoretical issues and practical concerns in the
field of language teacher education. The editors have designed it to be a 'state-

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of-the-art account of current approaches to second language teacher education'
and as 'a source book' for these designing components of preservice or inservice
teacher education programs (p. xi). Tofitthis design they have brought together
twenty-four specialists from the United States, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong,
and England. The nineteen chapters are grouped into six parts: Issues and
approaches in teacher education, Investigating teachers and learners in the
classroom, The practicum, Supervision, Self-observation in teacher develop-
ment, and Case studies. Most contributions are original; five are reprints. In
keeping with the 'source book' quality of the volume, sets of questions and tasks
are presented at the end of each section.
The selections cover a predictable range of topics of interest to program
designers. Authors focus on the need for using classroom data (rather than
methodological imperatives for practice imported from outside) as a basis for
teacher education; take up the theme of professionalism; examine concerns of
the student teacher supervisor; and discuss the importance of critical reflection
as a skill for teachers. Concrete suggestions offered for developing these areas of
effective language teacher education programs are varied. A few chapters pro-
vide particularly useful ideas. Rod Ellis presents a framework for describing and
developing a variety of activities in teacher education. Techniques and proce-
dures for introducing teachers-in-preparation to systematic classroom observa-
tion are described in Richard R. Day's chapter. Jerry G. Gebhard outlines
alternative ways of carrying out supervision. The use of diary and journal writing
by student teachers as a means of drafting afirst-personaccount of the language
teaching experience is advocated by Kathleen M. Bailey, while Patricia Porter,
Lynn M. Goldstein, Judith Leatherman, and Susan Conrad suggest the same
activity as a means of stimulating greater student teacher involvement in gradu-
ate courses and seminars. An instrument for observation and analysis of second
language classroom processes is illustrated by Nina Spada.
The questions and tasks offered at the end of each section are a collection of
activities representing the training/education distinction. Activities ask users of
the text to perform such tasks as making lists, completing tables, or finding sim-
ilarities and differences between models as well as drawing implications, making
inferences, or evaluating procedures.
In general, the volume's contents present an uncontroversial view of language
teacher preparation. Notable exceptions are the chapters by John F. Fanselow
and by Dale L. Lange. Fanselow challenges the popularly accepted aim of
supervision and observation as the experienced helping the inexperienced as
well as the notion of 'help' as it is commonly interpreted in the teacher pre-
paration context. Lange argues strongly that the base discipline for language
428 REVIEWS

teaching should be education rather than linguistics, a perspective which should


generate considerable discussion among applied linguists.
The editors identify the current period in teacher preparation as a move from
'teacher training' or 'familiarizing student teachers with techniques and skills to
apply in the classroom' to 'teacher education' or 'approaches that involve teach-
ers in developing theories of teaching, understanding the nature of decision

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making, and strategies for critical self-awareness and self-evaluation' (p. xi).
Since several chapters devote space to distinguishing the two models, the var-
ious definitions tend to be somewhat repetitious. However, the repetition does
not diminish the value of highlighting the difference or the importance of the
move to include an education perspective, especially in light of the increasing
number of teachers being prepared for the requirements of communicative lan-
guage teaching. The ability to develop an individual theory of language and lan-
guage teaching and to exercise independent thinking, the result of education
rather than training, is critical for teaching situations in which pedagogy and
appropriate methodology are derived from local characteristics.
The contributors make sound suggestions for teacher education program
design and development and thus contribute to the source book nature of the
volume. However, the perspective they represent is somewhat restricted. They
do not address a broad range of the contexts in which English (or any other lan-
guage) is taught and used as either a foreign or second language. Although mod-
els applied in EFL settings (for example, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Egypt) are
illustrated, they are described from the point of view of the native speaker
teacher educator. It would also have been informative to have included reac-
tions and accounts directly from participants in these programs. Similarly,
descriptions of programs developed by and for Europeans (the extensive and
long-term projects of the Council of Europe come to mind here), Japanese, or
South Americans would have added even broader international and cross-cul-
tural insights and would have balanced the volume's bias toward the expertise of
the native English-speaking world.
As it stands, Second Language Teacher Education succeeds in covering a
range of topics of concern and relevance to designers and developers of teacher
preparation programs, but it does so within a limited perspective. While this
limitation does not deny the source book potential of the volume, it necessitates
putting a qualification to the editors' claim that the volume is a state-of-the-art
account of approaches to second language teacher education programs.
(Received June 1991)
Reviewed by Margie Berns
Purdue University