Teacher training in a synchronous cyber face-to-face classroom: characterizing and supporting the online teachers' learning process
This article discusses the learning process undertaken by language teachers in a cyber face-to-face teacher training program. Eight tertiary Chinese language teachers attended a 12-week training program conducted in an online synchronous learning environment characterized by multimedia-based, oral and visual interaction. The term ''cyber face-to-face'' is used here to describe this environment as it both resembles and differs from the physical face-to-face environment. This article discusses a two-phased program with a four-week online platform training (Phase 1) followed by an eight-week online teaching practice and observation (Phase 2), conducted from November 2006 to February 2007. Data collected throughout the program indicate a learning curve that could best be characterized by four stages - the ''wow'' stage, the ''oh-oh'' stage, the anxious stage, and the internalizing stage. This article focuses on how the trainees progressed through these four stages, and describes how their learning was supported in each stage through a cyclic approach of action, reflection, and improvement. The characterization of the four stages not only helps us to capture how trainee teachers learn about teaching online, and respond to the challenges and potentials this new form of teaching presents, but also helps the trainer to determine what knowledge and skills should be taught and what kinds of support should be provided at what points in the process.
Computer Assisted Language Learning
Humanities and Social Sciences Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. Economics, Business and Management)
Language, Communication and Culture not elsewhere classified