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Home Journal Index 2022-3

Community Blog and Narrative Inquiry as Tools for Technology-Enhanced Professional Development for ESL Teachers

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Cynthia C. James
University of Cambridge, UK

Kean Wah Lee
University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus, Malaysia

Abdul Aziz Arsyad
Institute of Teacher Education, Tawau Campus, Malaysia

Clandinin and Connelly (2000) introduces the metaphorical three-dimensional narrative inquiry space, which espouses the commonplaces of temporality, sociality, and place as a framework to understand teachers’ personal practical knowledge. This paper aims to explore how this framework’s potential can be enhanced beyond its role as an inquiry tool by integrating it with a self-reflective teacher professional development that utilises a community blog as a platform. To explore this, Malaysian ESL practitioners from various backgrounds were invited to contribute narratives of their technology-enhanced language teaching experiences in the classroom (see Three blog entries had been selected as they represented three diverse contexts and multiplicity of perspectives. The first part provides a review of literature on narrative inquiry and the use of narrative accounts and blogging as tools for language teachers’ professional development. The second part outlines an overview of the Going Digital ELT blog project, followed by the unpacking of the three selected blog posts using the three-dimensional narrative inquiry space framework. The final part presents resonances identified both in the narrative threads as well as from feedback gathered from the participants involved. This is followed by a discussion on the insights, limitations, and directions for future research. The paper concludes with suggestions on how the insights presented in this paper can be used to inform follow-up initiatives on the Going Digital ELT blog, and how the experiences of teachers can be enhanced to assist more meaningful professional development.

ESL teachers, personal practical knowledge, narrative inquiry, community blog, self-directed teacher professional development