Orientation to Teacher Identity as an Interactional Resource in L2 Testing and Evaluation Classroom Interaction in a Teacher Education Context
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Studies of interaction-based reflective practices in training pre-service English teachers have been gaining momentum; however, the micro-analysis of classroom interactional processes emerging in teacher education programs have not been adequately investigated. Besides, interaction studies conducted with L2 pre-service teachers mostly focus on “how to teach?” question and “how to test?” remains scarce. Drawing on multimodal Conversation Analysis (CA), this study investigates an English Language Testing and Evaluation (ELTE) course in an undergraduate program and presents a micro-analysis of language test item reviewing (IR) sessions in this course. The analysis reveals an interactional practice of the L2 teacher educator, Orientation to Teacher Identity (OTI), emerging in test item problematization (TIP) sequences to either problematize the test items or to elaborate on the problems. In both cases, the L2 teacher educator positions the L2 teacher trainees as actual English teachers in interaction, assigns a set of responsibilities relating to English teaching and testing, and charges them with displaying these responsibilities when writing language test items. These findings implicate that teacher educators may exploit pre-service teachers’ identities for enacting professional actions. Also, L2 teacher trainees can benefit from dialogic reflection sessions to improve their practice of language test item writing. Lastly, problems in the trainees’ test items highlight the importance of developing their language awareness necessary for pedagogical and/or professional activities. Overall, classroom interaction research exploring ELTE course context may unveil the interactional and pedagogical processes that contribute to the development of pre-service English teachers’ L2 testing and evaluation knowledge and skills.