The number of team-taught classes with assistant language teachers (ALTs) has been increasing year by year. While team teaching has been practiced at elementary schools for over 15 years, there have been few empirical investigations of classroom practice to inform theory and policy. The present research sought to address this gap by applying conversation analysis to examine interaction in the classroom. Analysis revealed three classroom contexts (classroom management, form-and-accuracy, and content-centered) and several trends in interaction, including a hierarchal structure. Furthermore, a link between active involvement in interaction by HRTs and student engagement in lessons was suggested. Results were contrasted against four proposed benefits to team teaching, and, if top-down policy is intended to achieve concrete pedagogical aims, the necessity for a clearer outline of the ALTs' roles was highlighted.
This paper analyses interview data collected from a new type of assistant language teacher (or ALT) in Japan's primary school English classes. All thirteen participants were from outside the “Inner Circle” (Kachru, 1985) countries of English native-speakers, and consisted of Japanese, Brazilian, Filipino, and Peruvian ALTs from three prefectures. Preliminary data was obtained through questionnaires originally designed for typical foreign, native English-speaking ALTs, but revised for the more diverse backgrounds of the target group. Follow- up interviews elicited details on unique team-teaching combinations, including three and even four-person teams, and explored role negotiations. Chief concerns included homeroom teacher participation, pupil motivation levels, the quality of assistants, the cultural appropriateness of teaching materials, the acceptance of American-only accents, and job security. The paper concludes with a summary of assistants' suggestions on how best to address problems.