Publication Details

Lee, J. J., Murphy, J. & Baker, A. (2015). "Teachers are not empty vessels": A reception study of Freeman and Johnson's (1998) reconceptualization of the knowledge base of second language teacher education. Tesl Canada Journal, 33 (1), 1-21.


This study traces the reception history of Freeman and Johnson's (1998) widely cited article dedicated to theory and practices of second language teacher education (SLTE). It illuminates the degree to which that article has impacted SLTE theory, research, and potentially instructional practices. The reception study analysis is based on a data set of 413 journal articles, books, book chapters, master's theses, and doctoral dissertations that cited Freeman and Johnson (F&J) between 1999 and 2014. Using an innovative analytical approach combining both Hyland's (1999, 2004) citation categories and Coffin's (2009) stance framework, we investigate the citation analytics of F&J within this data set, including how it has been cited over time and the stance that citing authors have taken toward F&J's proposals. Although F&J's reconceptualization of the theory and practices of SLTE sparked initial controversy, our findings indicate that F&J's article has not only been accumulating increased attention over time, but their vision for the future of SLTE also has gained greater acceptance and has edged closer to the center of SLTE. The article concludes with a discussion of implications for further reception studies in TESOL/applied linguistics.