Publication Details

Burri, M. (2018). Empowering Nonnative-English-Speaking Teachers in Primary School Contexts: An Ethnographic Case Study. TESOL Journal, 9 (1), 185-202.


With the prospect of economic growth, governments in many parts of the world where English is spoken as an additional language have pushed for educational reforms and introduced English at the primary school level. However, the implementation of such reforms along with a general lack of training opportunities available to primary school teachers has caused considerable uncertainty and anxiety among practitioners. This article reports on a small-scale ethnographic case study that explored a Japanese approach to English teaching/learning with the aim of identifying pedagogical practices that nonnative-English-speaking teachers could implement in their primary English lessons. Seven observations, four unstructured interviews, and five semistructured interviews were triangulated to collect data in the Kansai and Tokyo areas over a period of 4 weeks. Findings show that the approach consists of seven distinct stages that not only include a multitude of pedagogical practices but also provide a rich learning environment. Findings further suggest that two practices could be of particular use in primary school contexts: input-focused teaching and theme-based teaching.



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