Lesson 1: Joining the Profession


What does it mean to be a professional? What does it mean to "professionalize" the field of foreign language teaching?


Dr. Zsuzsanna Abrams on becoming a member of a profession.

Duration: 02:00

According to Dr. Abrams, a foreign language professional understands that he or she is a member of a larger "community of practice," that is, a group of people who share interests, values and behaviors. According to Lave and Wenger (1991), two cognitive anthropologists who coined the term community of practice, it is through the sharing of information and experience that individuals develop themselves personally and professionally. In fact, to be a professional requires the teacher to take part in activities outside his or her classroom such as attending workshops or conferences. Finally, to be a professional requires that the teacher keep up-to-date by reading about recent pedagogical developments.

Currently, what professional activities do you participate in? How often do you talk to other teachers about your own teaching? Where do you get new ideas for your classroom practice?