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Profile Issues in Teachers` Professional Development

Print version ISSN 1657-0790

profile vol.22 no.2 Bogotá July/Dec. 2020  Epub Aug 25, 2020 

Editorial introducción

Looking Back and Thinking Ahead for Strengthening the Profile Journal

Melba Libia Cárdenas* 

María Claudia Nieto-Cruz** 

* Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia,

** Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia,

Last February we held the XV PROFILE Symposium, an annual local event aimed at inviting teachers of English from different backgrounds to reflect on our profession, to share research results and innovations, and to highlight the importance of doing research. We also took the opportunity to encourage the participants to share their findings through publishing.

During the event, we presented the first edition of 2020 of the Profile journal and celebrated its twentieth anniversary. We gathered four groups of authors who have published in different moments of their professional careers. They were:

  • Authors who first published in the section “Issues From Novice Teacher-Researchers” of the Profile journal

  • Authors who have participated in a Teachers’ Professional Development Program

  • Experienced authors, that is, teachers who have published extensively

  • Members of the Advisory Review Board of the journal.

Pedro Chala (Universidad Javeriana), Deissy Angélica Velandia (ELT consultant), Mireya Peña (Universidad Libre), Rocío Mahecha (Secretaría de Educación Distrital), Carmen Helena Guerrero (Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas), Ferney Cruz (Instituto Caro y Cuervo), Liliana Cuesta (Universidad de La Sabana), and Álvaro Quintero (Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas) kindly accepted our invitation to take part in the symposium, and to speak their minds around the following topics: First, novice teacher-researchers exchanged ideas regarding the worries, interests, and challenges as teachers of English that have emerged since they published their articles, soon after they completed their BEd. They also talked about new perspectives in the teaching profession as a result of their engagement in doing research and writing to get published. They agreed on the demands research and writing pose, the need to engage in further studies, and the steering force they acknowledge in the first publication experience they had with Profile.

On the other hand, school teachers who produced their articles within the framework of a teacher development program that guided them to do research in their classrooms focused on the impact of their experiences publishing in Profile for the first time. They reflected on the formation of their authorial identity and how our journal has contributed to the emergence of an academic writing culture. They stressed the need to have a community of practice that looks at teaching, classroom research, and publication as connected entities. The dialogue present in that community, the willingness to share and support each other, and the common interest in granting a protagonist role to teachers were aspects of the Teachers’ Professional Development Program that enriched their professional practice. In their opinion, all those elements were vital to getting published and have also contributed to upgrading teachers’ self-esteem, an aspect very much needed nowadays.

Experienced authors, who have published with us as well as in other journals, talked about the role research plays in the professional development of teachers. They also mentioned additional knowledge teacher-researchers should acquire in order to be able to carry out research and make it visible through academic publication. In their opinion, besides pedagogical and content knowledge, it is necessary to position ourselves as agents of change, as critical professionals whose research agendas are based on local realities and on the commitment to look for better quality and equal opportunities in education.

To close the symposium, two members of the Advisory Review Board of the journal reflected upon new possible paths they consider research in English language teaching/learning will take in the near future. Some challenges that the era of digitalization poses to a scientific publication like Profile were mentioned too. Lastly, and based on their experience as manuscript reviewers, they shared some recommendations to future authors. In their opinion, it is expected that we can have epistemological emancipation, enhance our understanding of reality, and bring our subjectivities to the classroom (teachers’ and students’).

Overall, the event was an opportunity for the participants to reflect on the importance of research (and the subsequent publication of findings) to positively impact teachers’ professional lives and to avoid reproducing practices that have proven ineffective or hegemonic. This sort of reflection is at the base of educational changes that ultimately favor more inclusive learning processes.

In this issue, we are very pleased to share with you 13 articles. Ten correspond to the section Issues From Teacher Researchers, one to the section Issues From Novice Teacher-Researchers, and two to the section Issues Based on Reflections and Innovations. The contributions come from seven countries: Colombia with five articles, Chile with three, Mexico with two, Argentina with one as well as Iran, and one written in co-authorship by researchers from Spain and the United States of America.

The topics discussed by researchers in the current issue concern English language teaching and learning as regards pre- and in-service teachers, school teachers, and higher education students. The articles also reveal an interest in exploring issues such as collaborative learning, content and language integrated learning (CLIL), and oral and written correction feedback, among others.

The section Issues From Teacher Researchers begins with an article that examines the quality of a tutoring program for future teachers in the BEd program in philology and languages (English and French programs) at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota. The study by Deissy Angélica Velandia (Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico) revealed that a comprehensive, personalized tutoring plan was needed. This article is followed by one that discusses gender in relation to leadership and risk-taking skills tied to an academic writing professional development course. The writing course helped the researcher, Anna Peñaloza (Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia), to understand that there is a perpetuation of social gender roles, gender stereotypes, and the patriarchy. The third paper is authored by Erika de la Barra and Soffía Carbone (Universidad Mayor, Chile). These authors explore the use of cooperative learning through literature in two vulnerable English as a foreign language (EFL) classrooms in Chile. The cooperative learning together with literature resulted in a suitable combination to improve learners’ learning strategies and personal growth. In fourth place, Edgar Alirio Insuasty and María Fernanda Jaime Osorio (Universidad Surcolombiana, Colombia) developed a collaborative action research study whose main objective was to transform the pedagogical practices of teachers of a Colombian school of foreign languages. The study evidenced favorable perceptions about the impact of collaborative action research on the transformation of the participating English language teachers’ pedagogical practices. Next, we have a joint effort between Daniel Madrid (Universidad de Granada, Spain) and Steven Julius (University of St. Thomas, USA). The researchers examined the profile of students in the bilingual university degree programs that employ English as the medium of instruction. The researchers concluded that the input provided by their study might result in the improvement of the university bilingual programs. Natalia Ramírez-Lizcano and María Alejandra Cabrera-Tovar (Universidad Surcolombiana, Colombia) dealt with telecollaboration to connect EFL learners’ perceptions about language learning with culture. Telecollaboration facilitated the understanding of the nature of language situated within functional and humanistic perspectives and the understanding of the scope of culture and cultural identity. English language teaching in the context of high school is presented by Marco Cancino and Gabriela Díaz (Universidad Andres Bello, Chile). In their article, the authors explore the code-switching practices between English and Spanish used by school teachers to accomplish a number of functions in two classroom modes via the teacher talk scheme. The eighth article explores the possible forms of professional yet personal-local knowledge two language student teachers encounter and produce when they plan language lessons. The authors are Diego F. Ubaque-Casallas (Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, Colombia) and Edgar Aguirre-Garzón (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia). Findings suggest that through lesson planning, language student teachers manage to re-signify certain methodological constructions of teaching and learning. The higher education context is discussed by Edgar Emmanuell Garcia-Ponce (Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico) in a study that examines the perceptions of employers, university authorities, English teachers, and students concerning needs to promote English achievement in a Mexican university. We close this section with an article by authors from three different Iranian universities. The authors are Sajjad Sepehrinia (University of Tehran), Nahid Fallah (University of Kharazmi), and Soad Torfi (Islamic Azad University). The three researchers worked on how teachers provide oral corrections for their students. Their research focus was about the role of students’ proficiency level in five English language teachers’ corrective behavior with special attention to affective and practical dimensions. The findings carry important implications for teacher education programs.

The section Issues From Novice Teacher Researchers contains an article by Yesika Aristizábal-Jiménez (Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia). In her article, the researcher makes a connection between critical analysis and YouTube contents. The results showed that the implementation of critical media literacy helped students become aware of the content they were consuming and improve their English oral performance by means of specific oral activities.

The final section, Issues Based on Reflections and Innovations, features two articles. The first is a joint venture between Darío Luis Banegas (University of Strathclyde, UK, & Ministerio de Educación del Chubut, Argentina) and Cristina Lauze (Escuela No. 713, Argentina). The Argentinian researchers connected CLIL with comprehensive sexual education in their study. After one month of instruction, students were able to deliver presentations on comprehensive sexual education topics. We end this section and the current issue with a study by Benjamín Cárcamo (Universidad de las Américas, Chile). This article presents a typology on written corrective feedback (WCF) that aims to close the gap between an agreement on the definition of this type of feedback and the effects of different types of feedback on students’ writing. The author expects that the resulting typology will help to improve the effectiveness in the comparison of WCF studies and serve as a reference for teachers interested in expanding their practices.

While closing this issue, we learned that the Profile journal has been included for the first time in the Scimago Journal Rank and that it is positioned in Quartile 2 in the “Linguistics and Language” category. We see this as an indication of the growing international impact of our publication and it motivates us to keep publishing high-quality contents for the benefit of our expanding readership. We thank the members of our editorial, scientific, and review committees as well as our authors for the interest they have bestowed upon our publication. We acknowledge their professionalism and commitment.

As always, we hope our readers find the contents of this issue relevant for their professional practice. You are invited to share and discuss the topics raised in this issue with your colleagues and/or students.

How to cite this article (APA, 7th ed.): Cárdenas, M. L., & Nieto-Cruz, M. C. (2020). Editorial: Looking back and thinking ahead for strengthening the Profile journal. Profile: Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development, 22(2), 7-10.

Received: April 15, 2020; Accepted: April 30, 2020

Creative Commons License This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License