Spanish L2 Teachers’ Competences in Croatia
Curricular, Student and Professional Perspective
Keywords:teaching competencies, teachers of Spanish as a foreign language, initial teacher education, competence-based approach, teaching Spanish in Croatia
The contemporary work environment requires professionals to possess complex skills in the form of various key competencies. In the field of foreign language teaching, there are several frames of reference (Kelly et al. 2000; Borg 2006; Newby et al. 2007; Instituto Cervantes 2012) that define a series of generic or transversal competences and specific competences important to the teaching profession. That is why already in initial teacher education, as an important stage of professional development, a competency-based approach should be used (Vizek Vidović 2009). The paper presents a reflection on the competences of teachers of Spanish as a foreign language in Croatia from three perspectives: a) the curricular, b) the student and c) the professional one, and the results revealed discrepancies among the analysed dimensions. On the one hand, although the curriculum enables the development of almost all the competencies recognised by the frames of reference, their presence is highly implicit so the students are not aware that they are acquiring them during their studies. On the other hand, students and teachers largely agree on the assessment of the importance of various competencies, but their level of acquisition during studies is lower than their perceived importance. This partly agrees with the perception of pre-service training as the first step in professional teacher education, but also provides a basis for certain improvements to the initial education of teachers of Spanish as a foreign language in Croatia.
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