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The use of analogies in language teaching: representing the content of teachers' practical knowledge

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This study sought to determine how experienced language teachers use analogies to help students comprehend a text on the course of their regular teaching routines. It is assumed that analogies constitute one important component of the content of teachers' practical knowledge in the context of reading-comprehension instruction. The framework of the study drew from Shulman's notion of 'pedagogical content knowledge'; the perspective was the analogy-provider (e.g. teacher or textbook author). Eight lessons taught by eight different teachers were observed and analysed for the presence of analogies. The frequent use of analogies, continuously under discussion in the literature about science education, seems at least open to question. The research suggests that teacher education programmes for language teaching should include information about developing and evaluating instructional analogies.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2002-01-01

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