Authentic Teaching Opportunities of English for Primary Students as a Community of Practice: A Case of Pre-service Teacher Education at a Japanese University

Shinji Okumura


This case study explored what pre-service teachers learned through authentic experiences of English teaching for
primary students, drawing upon the concept of a Community of Practice. A total of 21 pre-service teachers engaged
in the training project—including planning, preparing, and teaching lessons—and wrote reflection papers after
thinking about their activities. The focal data was the pre-service teachers’ written work, which was analyzed with a
qualitative approach. Follow-up interviews were conducted for selected pre-service teachers. The findings indicated
that the project contributed to allowing the pre-service teachers to develop knowledge and skills for primary English
education. The study also confirmed that the training project promoted solidarity, especially between the old-timers
and the newcomers. On the other hand, the typical Japanese school culture seemed to function as an obstacle to
allowing the old-timers and the newcomers to become acquainted enough.

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