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11th International Conference on Language Teacher Education

May 30–June 1, 2019

The Graduate Hotel, Minneapolis, MN

Friday Morning Plenary: Shifting Perspectives in Language Teacher Education: Transformative Learning Theory for L2 Learning and Teaching

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 9:00 AM–10:00 AM Central Time (US & Canada) add to calendar
Meridian Ballroom
Session Type


Program Summary

The adult learning model of transformative learning (Mezirow, 1978) has gained increasing attention among language educators for its ability to explain moments of perspective-shifting, a process that involves deep, conscious decentering of the self from existing beliefs and values and that is often triggered by a "disorienting dilemma" leading to intense reflection (e.g., Johnson, 2015; Johnson & Nelson, 2010; King, 2000). Research on adult learning (Mezirow et al. 2009; Taylor et al. 2012) has shown that reflection on content and learning process plays a critical role in an individual's ability to shift initial taken-for-granted frames of reference and integrate this new knowledge into one's worldview. Familiarity with transformative learning theory can help language educators to not only identify perspective-shifting moments in their students' learning but also create learning conditions that facilitate new ways for L2 learners to think about themselves, their surroundings, and the target language.

This talk explores how a transformative learning lens can expand our understanding of the second language learning experience as well as the field of language teacher education. It presents current research on the experiences of collegiate foreign language learners and teachers to showcase the emergent transformational learning opportunities that occur in classroom settings from beginning to advanced L2 instructional levels and examines the role of structured reflection in particular as a tool for learners to articulate and question their assumptions.

Cori Crane is Associate Professor of the Practice and German Language Program Director in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature at Duke University. Her research interests closely align to her curriculum development and teacher mentoring work, with recent and current projects located in the areas of graduate student teacher education, reflective teaching and learning, and literacy-based instruction. She is co-editor (with Carl Niekerk) of Approaches to Ali and Nino: Love, Identity, and Transcultural Conflict (Camden House, 2017) and co-author (with Heidi Hamilton and Abigail Bartoshesky) of Doing Foreign Language: Bringing Concordia Language Villages to Language Classrooms (Prentice Hall, 2005). Her publications have appeared in L2 Journal, Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, Profession, and various AAUSC volumes.

Lead Presenter/organizer

Cori Crane

Session Materials