Language Teacher's Language Learning Experience

December 2023
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

This autoethnographic diary study encapsulated my attempt at learning Spanish through a commercial, virtual language learning application. Rather than an intended goal of bilingualism or scholarly critique of the selected program, this study was concerned with the phenomenological aspect of consciously attempting to learn a second language to familiarize myself with the experiential element of language learning. Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), the basis of effective teaching, can be defined as the amalgamation of knowing how to teach (pedagogy) and a thorough insight of the subject matter to be taught (content). The monolingual, English language instructor is perhaps unique in that, simply acquiring English in youth, they lack the experiential element of having learned the content of their discipline—a critical aspect afforded to instructors of seemingly all other fields by default. To address this shortcoming and with the learning of English obviously not an option, I commenced a Spanish-oriented language learning experience (LLE) that ran from July 13 through November 29, 2022. A daily diary was kept and analyzed at the completion of the study. Results yielded a decidedly negative fixation on the program, predicated largely on disdain for the general design and various technical issues that came about. However, my experience provided useful pedagogical takeaways and, though I did not learn Spanish, at least some modicum of the experiential element I sought.

Education, Curriculum and Instruction