Teacher education reform in Thailand: A semiotic analysis of pre-service English teachers’ perceptions

  • Jariya Sairattanain Sisaket Rajabhat University, THAILAND
  • Daron Benjamin Loo National University of Singapore, SINGAPORE https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9203-3608
Keywords: Pre-service teachers, semiotic analysis, teacher education reform

Abstract

The teacher education program in Thailand has undergone various reforms, with the latest being the shortening of the teacher education curriculum from five years to four. To date, very few studies have accounted for this reform. To address this gap, our study sought to analyse pre-service English teachers’ perceptions towards the reform. This was done through a semiotic analysis of visuals contributed by the pre-service teachers. There were a total of 43 visual contributions, which were analysed through Labbo’s typology of symbolisms and attributes discerned from the visuals and their corresponding captions. We were able to categorize the visuals to three types of symbolisms, which were transformative, typographic, and the third type being a combination of the first and second. The most common attribute was positive affect (emotion), with a few visuals rationalizing or questioning the reform. The analysis revealed that the pre-service teachers did not really understand the nature of the reform, despite their positive perception towards change.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Accurso, K. (2020). Bringing a social semiotic perspective to secondary teacher education in the United States. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2019.100801

Beijaar, D., Verloop, N., & Vermunt, J. D. (2000). Teachers’ perceptions of professional identity: An exploratory study from a personal knowledge perspective. Teaching and Teacher Education, 16, 749-764. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-051X(00)00023-8

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77-101. https://doi.org/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa

Chailom, S. (2019). Five-year curriculum of teacher education in Thailand: Gain or pain? International Academic Multidisciplinary Research Conference, London. http://icbtsproceeding.ssru.ac.th/index.php/

ICBTSLONDON/article/view/49

de Saxe, J. G., Bucknovitz, S., & Mahoney-Mosedale, F. (2020). The deprofessionalization of educators: An intersectional analysis of neoliberalism and education “reform”. Education and Urban Society, 52(1), 51-69. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013124518786398

Ezer, H., Gilat, I., & Sagee, R. (2010). Perception of teacher education and professional identity among novice teachers. European Journal of Teacher Education, 33(4), 391-404. https://doi.org/10.1080/02619768.2010.504949

Farrelly, N. (2016). Being Thai: A narrow identity in a wide world. Southeast Asian Affairs, 2016(1), 331-343. https://doi.org/10.1355/9789814695671-023

Fenwick, T. (2014). Social media, professionalism and higher education: a sociomaterial consideration. Studies in Higher Education, 41(4), 664-677. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2014.942275

Fry, G. W. (Ed.). (2018). Education in Thailand: An old elephant in search of a new mahout. Springer: Singapore.

Golombek, P., & Doran, M. (2014). Unifying cognition, emotion, and activity in language teacher professional development. Teaching and Teacher Education, 39, 102-111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2014.01.002

Hallinger, P., & Bryant, D. A. (2013). Synthesis of findings from 15 years of educational reform in Thailand: Lessons on leading educational change in East Asia. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 16(4), 399-418. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603124.2013.770076

Hanna, F., Oostdam, R., Severiens, S. E., & Zijlstra, B. J. H. (2019). Domains of teacher identity: A review of quantitative measurement instruments. Educational Research Review, 27, 15-27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2019.01.003

Hoang, T., & Wyatt, M. (2021). Exploring the self-efficacy beliefs of Vietnamese pre-service teachers of English as a foreign language. System, 96. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2020.102422

Jamjuree, D. (2017). Teacher training and development in Thailand. Journal of Research and Curriculum Development, 7(2), 7-19.

Jantori, P. (2020). Examining digital practices of Thai pre-service EFL teachers through reflective journals. Human Behavior, Development and Society, 21(4), 47-56.

Kanchai, T. (2019). Thai EFL university lecturers’ viewpoints towards impacts of the CEFR on their English language curricula and teaching practice. NIDA Journal of Language and Communication, 24(35), 23-47.

Keane, W. (2003). Semiotics and the social analysis of material things. Language & Communication, 23(3-4), 409-425. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0271-5309(03)00010-7

Kim, H. J. (2019). Exploring Pre-Service Teachers' Beliefs about English Teaching Competence, Perceived Competence, and Actual Competence. Journal of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics, 23(2), 1-19. https:// doi.org/10.25256/PAAL.23.2.1

Knain, E., Fredlund, T., & Furberg, A. (2021). Exploring student reasoning and representation construction in school science through the lenses of social semiotics and interaction analysis. Research in Science Education, 51, 93-111. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-020-09975-1

Labbo, L. D. (1996). A semiotic analysis of young children's symbol making in a classroom computer center. Reading Research Quarterly, 31(4), 356-385. https://doi.org/10.1598/RRQ.31.4.2

Ladachart, L. (2021). Conceptions about teaching and learning that influence Thai preservice biology teachers’ orientations to teaching science. Curriculum Perspectives, 41(1), 3-15. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41297-020-00118-0

Lao, R. (2019). The politics, economics and cultural borrowing of Thai higher education reforms. In P. Chachavalpongpun (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Thailand (pp. 318-329). Routledge.

Lemke, J. (1987). Social Semiotics and Science Education. The American Journal of Semiotics, 5(2), 217-232. https://doi.org/10.5840/ajs19875217

Lemke, J. (1998). Metamedia literacy: Transforming meanings and media. In D. Reinking, M. McKenna, L. Labbo, & R. Kieffer (Eds.), Handbook of literacy and technology: Transformations in a post-typographic world (pp. 283-302). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Loo, D. B., Maidom, R., & Kitjaroonchai, N. (2019). Non-native English speaking pre-service teachers in an EFL context: Examining experiences through borderland discourse. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 47(4), 414-431. https://doi.org/10.1080/1359866X.2019.1607252

Loo, D. B., Trakulkasemsuk, W., & Zilli, P. J. (2017). Non-local English teachers’ contextualization of Intercultural Education in an EFL Setting. rEFLections, 23, 1-23.

Loo, D. B., Trakulkasemsuk, W., & Zilli, P. J. (2019). Positioning students in the international intercultural classroom: An exploration of English teachers’ discourse. วารสาร ศิลปศาสตร์ มหาวิทยาลัย ธรรมศาสตร์ (Journal of Liberal Arts), 19(1), 107-139. https://doi.org/10.14456/lartstu.2019.5

Merisi, P. O., & Pillay, A. (2020). Understanding what shapes English education pre-service teachers’ perceptions of preparedness to teach grammar. English in Education, 54(4), 346-357. https://doi.org/10.1080/04250494.2020.1740056

Moriarty, S. E. (2002). The symbiotics of semiotics and visual communication. Journal of Visual Literacy, 22(1), 19-28. https://doi.org/10.1080/23796529.2002.11674579

Moro, L., Mortimer, E. F., & Tiberghien, A. (2020). The use of social semiotic multimodality and joint action theory to describe teaching practices: Two cases studies with experienced teachers. Classroom Discourse, 11(3), 229-251. https://doi.org/10.1080/19463014.2019.1570528

Phairee, C., Sanitchon, N., Suphanangthong, I., Graham, S., Prompruang, J., de Groot, F. O., & Hopkins, D. (2008). The teaching practicum in Thailand: Three perspectives. TESOL Quarterly, 42(4), 655-659. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1545-7249.2008.tb00154.x

Pischetola, M., de Miranda, L. V. T., & Albuquerque, P. (2021). The invisible made visible through technologies’ agency: A sociomaterial inquiry on emergency remote teaching in higher education. Learning, Media and Technology. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2021.1936547

Prabjandee, D. (2019). Unwelcome truths of the professional learning community policy in Thailand: Teacher's sensemaking. Issues in Educational Research, 29(1), 223-242. https://doi.org/10.3316/informit.172025295472289

Prabjandee, D. (2020a). Multifaceted motivation of becoming English teachers in Thailand: Beyond intrinsic, extrinsic, and altruistic reasons. Teacher Learning and Professional Development, 5(1), 49-61.

Prabjandee, D. (2020b). Narratives of learning to become English teachers in Thailand: Developing identity through a teacher education program. Teacher Development, 24(1), 71-87. https://doi.org/10.1080/13664530.2019.1699155

Ryan, M. (2011). Improving reflective writing in higher education: A social semiotic perspective. Teaching in Higher Education, 16(1), 99-111. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2010.507311

Siribanpitak, P. (2018). Redesigning teacher education. In G. W. Fry (Ed.), Education in Thailand: An old elephant in search of a new mahout (pp. 461-476). Springer, Singapore.

Somekh, B., Hoon, C. L., & Ahmad, N. A. (2011). The critical reflection profile: Working to raise the quality of teacher education in Malaysia. Journal of Research, Policy & Practice of Teachers and Teacher Education, 1(1), 59-76.

Song, J. (2018). Critical approaches to emotions of non-native English speaking teachers. Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics, 41(4), 453-467. https://doi.org/10.1515/cjal-2018-0033

Sudtho, J. & Singhasiri, W. (2017). Exploring pre-service teachers’ professional identity formation through the lens of critical incidents. Asian EFL Journal, 99, 38-60.

Sudtho, J,. Singhasiri, W., & Jimarkon Zilli, P. (2015). Using symbolic interactionism to investigate teachers’ professional identity. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities, 23(4), 1151-1164.

The Nation Thailand. (2017, May 24). Too many ministers and too many changes: Education reform ‘has gone nowhere’. Retrieved May 22, 2021, from https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30316217

Thongthew, S. (2014). Changes in teacher education in Thailand 1978–2014. Journal of Education for Teaching, 40(5), 543-550. https://doi.org/ 10.1080/02607476.2014.956539

Tran, A., Burns, A., & Ollerhead, S. (2017). ELT lecturers’ experiences of a new research policy: Exploring emotion and academic identity. System, 67, 65-76. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2017.04.014

Tyrer, C. (2021). The voice, text, and the visual as semiotic companions: an analysis of the materiality and meaning potential of multimodal screen feedback. Education and Information Technologies. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-021-10455-w

van Lier, L. (1997). Approaches to observation in classroom research: Observation from an ecological perspective. TESOL Quarterly, 31(4), 783-787.

van Lier, L. (2008). Ecological-semiotic perspectives on educational linguistics. In B. Spolsky & F. M. Hult (Eds.), The Handbook of Educational Linguistics, (pp. 596-605). Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Watson Todd, R., & Darasawang, P. (2020). English language teacher education in Thailand: A mix of global and local. In A. B. M. Tsui (Ed.), English language teaching and teacher education in East Asia: Global challenges and local responses (pp. 195-216). Cambridge Education Research. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108856218.011

Weninger, C., & Kiss, T. (2013). Culture in English as a foreign language (EFL) textbooks: A semiotic approach. TESOL quarterly, 47(4), 694-716. https://doi.org/10.1002/tesq.87

Wolff, D., & De Costa, P. I. (2017). Expanding the language teacher identity landscape: An investigation of the emotions and strategies of a NNEST. The Modern Language Journal, 101(S1), 76-90. https://doi.org/10.1111/modl.12370

Yan, Z., & Brown, G. T. (2021). Assessment for learning in the Hong Kong assessment reform: A case of policy borrowing. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stueduc.2021.100985

Yus, F. (2019). Multimodality in memes: A cyberpragmatic approach. In P. Bou-Franch & P. G-C. Blitvich (Eds.), Analyzing digital discourse: New insights and Future Directions (pp. 105-131). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-92663-6_4

Zhu, Y, & Fang, Y. (2011). Characterizing reform and change of teacher education in China in the new era. Journal of Research, Policy & Practice of Teachers and Teacher Education, 1(1), 30-44.

Published
2021-09-28
How to Cite
Sairattanain, J., & Loo, D. B. (2021). Teacher education reform in Thailand: A semiotic analysis of pre-service English teachers’ perceptions. Journal of Research, Policy & Practice of Teachers and Teacher Education, 11(2), 28-45. https://doi.org/10.37134/jrpptte.vol11.2.3.2021