Cuban voices: A case study of English language teacher education

Steven John Smith


This case study uses qualitative research methods and a postcolonial paradigm to listen to the voices of Cuban teacher educators describing how they educate and prepare English language teachers in Cuba.

English language teacher education in Cuba includes features that are considered innovative, contemporary and good practice in the Western world. It is contextualised to respect Cuba´s sociocultural environment and it makes use of Cuban themes, history, culture and geography. Teacher educators, born and educated in Cuba by Cubans, use a ‘pedagogy of tenderness’ to build on caring relationships and emphasise institutionalised values of solidarity, collectivism and collaboration.

A communicative approach is used to develop the communicative competence of pre-service teachers. Development of pedagogical competence is facilitated through collaboration, peer observation, mentoring, modelling and ongoing professional development. Teacher educators prepare pre-service teachers to undertake extensive field experience and support them in schools as they teach and develop educational research skills.


Cuba; case study; teacher education; English language teaching; postcolonial; pedagogy

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