Fotini Diamantidaki


This paper comes at a time of curriculum and Initial Teacher Education (ITE) change in England. The need to hold on tightly to many first principles is vital and one of these is the role of the modern foreign languages mentor in schools, in the context of secondary ITE, the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) more specifically. This paper aims to restate the definition of the subject mentor, focusing on the qualities, the complexity and evolution of the role. A theoretical framework has been developed based on the theory of mentoring and associated concepts of reflective practice and professional dialogical relationships. Theory and practice of mentoring are then supported with a small-scale research study based on open-ended questionnaires to subject mentors of PGCE Modern Foreign Languages (MFL). The paper also explores the type of collaboration that subject mentors would appreciate having with Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and observes whether the subject mentoring role in MFL is changing as a result of government policy changes.


subject mentor, modern foreign languages (MFL), mentoring, ITE, PGCE

Full Text:



Arthur J., Davison J., Moss J., (1997). Subject mentoring in the secondary school, Routledge London,122-136.

Boud., D., Keogh., R., and Walker., D., (1985) Reflexion: Turning experience into learning. London, New York: Kogan Page and Nicols Publishing Company.

Department for Education (DfE) (2014) English Baccalaureate: information for schools. London: DFE (accessed 3 November 2014)

Department for Education (DfE) (2015) Get into teaching, London: DfE. (accessed March 17, 2018)

Department for Education (DfE) (2015) Teachers’ Standards Guidance for school leaders, school staff and governing bodies, London DfE (accessed March 17, 2018)

Dingwall, R., (1997). Accounts, interviews and observations. In G. Miller. & R. Dingwall (Eds), Context and method in qualitative research (pp.51-65), London: SAGE

Dobbins, R. and Wasley, D., (1992) ‘Teachers as teacher educators: The impact of nomenclature on roles and relationships in the practicum’ May Magill: University of South Australia

Feiman-Nemser, S., and Parker, M.B (1992) ‘Mentoring in context: a comparison of two US programs for beginning teacehrs’, National Centre for Research on Teacher Learning: Special Report, Spring, 1-20

Field B. (1994) ‘The new role of the teacher-mentoring’, in Field B. & T. (Eds) Teachers as Mentors: A practical guide, London: Falmer press, 63-77

Furlong J., Maynard T., (1995) Mentoring student teachers: the growth of professional knowledge, New York, Routledge, 37-54

Heilbronn, R., (2008) Teacher Education and the Development of Practical Judgement, London: Continuum, 3-19 and 113-144

Hobson, A. J., Ashby, P., Malderez, A., Tomlison, P., D., (2009). Mentoring beginning teachers: What we know and what we don’t, Teaching and Teacher Education, 25, 207-216

Pachler N., Redondo A., (2009) ‘On becoming a modern foreign language teacher’ in Pachler N., Barnes A., Field K., (Eds) Learning to teach Modern Foreign Languages in the Secondary School, A companion of school experience, third edition, London: Routledge, 31-57

Parker-Katz M., Bay M., (2008) ‘Conceptualizing mentor knowledge: Learning from the insiders’ Teaching and teacher Education 24, 1259-1269

Robson C., (1993) Real world research, a resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers, Oxford: Blackwell, 227-268

Robson C., (2002) Real world research, a resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers second edition, Oxford: Blackwell, 25-35

Robson C., (2011) Real world research, a resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers third edition, Wiley and Sons Ltd Publication UK, 24-25, 146-151

Schön, D., (1983) The Reflective Practitioner, New York: Basic Books

The National Archives: Training and Development Agency for schools (TDA) (2011) (accessed 17 March 2018)



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Journal of Media Critiques [JMC]

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.