Reflection or description: A document analysis on ELT student teachers’ reflective journals

İlin G.

journal of language and linguistic studies, cilt.16, ss.1019-1031, 2020 (Diğer Kurumların Hakemli Dergileri)

  • Cilt numarası: 16 Konu: 2
  • Basım Tarihi: 2020
  • Dergi Adı: journal of language and linguistic studies
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.1019-1031


This documentary study analyses the levels of reflection in the reflective journals written by 59 ELT student

teachers from a Turkish university upon their experiences at practice schools. During the practicum, each student

teacher wrote four reflective journals on pre-determined topics for observation. The foci of journals were on the

lesson observed, the mentor’s classroom management strategies, classroom context and language, blackboard use

and error correction. In this study, the journals were analyzed on the basis of Hattan and Smith’s (1995) reflective

writing styles and categorized under reflective models by Taggart and Wilson (2005). The analysis reveals that

student teachers used a descriptive tone in writing their journals rather than a reflective one. The majority of the

reflective statements used were in technical level followed by contextual level. In the journals, as compared to

descriptions and reflections in technical and contextual levels, we detect rarer reflections in dialectical level. To

shed more light to the study, interviews were held with eleven student teachers selected by convenience sampling

method and the results of the analysis were discussed. Not being familiar with the word reflection, time constraint,

lack of motivation, the nature of tasks and finally, distrust in the probability of supervisors’ reading the journals

were the reasons why the student teachers did not much care about how they wrote the journals.