The Use of an Experiential Learning Model in English Teacher Training

By Kittitouch Soontornwipast.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In adult learning and professional training, David Kolb’s experiential learning model has long been used with the belief that learners remember best what they experience, understand best what they identify with, and learn best by doing. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of the experiential learning model in training English teachers. The study was undertaken in the Instructional Media course in a Master’s Program in Teaching English as a Foreign Language at a Thai University. The participants were 13 second-year graduate students enrolled in the course as an elective. Throughout the course, the teacher based their classroom activities on the four stages of the experiential learning model. That is, participants gained a direct practical experience, observed and reflected on that new experience, conceptualized it, and tested or experimented it in new situations. The qualitative methods including students’ logs, teacher’s observations and focus group interviews were employed to collect data regarding the strengths and weaknesses in the use of the experiential model. The results showed that the participants recognized the benefits of the model in promoting their higher-order thinking skills. In addition, they had clearer pictures in applying EFL teaching and learning theories practically. However, at the beginning of the course, the participants were confused with the roles they had to take on during the four stages of the model. Recommendations on how to apply the experiential learning model in EFL teacher training more effectively were also provided.

Keywords: English Teacher Training, EFL, Experiential Learning Model

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp.71-80. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 757.415KB).

Dr. Kittitouch Soontornwipast

Vice Director for Research and International Affairs, Language Institute, Thammasat University, Phranakorn, Bangkok, Thailand

Kittitouch Soontornwipast is assistant professor at the Language Institute of Thammasat University. He obtained his MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Langauges (TESOL) at California State University, Los Angeles in 1995. He obtained his Doctor of Education in Professional Development at Victoria University, Australia in 2008. His academic interests are English program evaluation, teaching English for specific purposes, autonomous learning, instructional media, and Action Research for English teachers. He has had experiences in training primary and secondary English teachers.

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