Learning to mentor as learning a second language of teaching

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes and interprets the process by which two novice mentors of English teachers, who are experienced high school teachers of English, learnt to construe their new role by articulating differences and similarities between their practice as teachers of children and as mentors of teachers. The evolving competencies that the focal mentors attributed to their learning are interpreted through the metaphor of 'learning to mentor as learning a second language of teaching'; an organising framework that emerged from the findings of a qualitative case study that investigated the learning process experienced by two veteran teachers of English in their passage from teaching English to school children to becoming mentors of teachers of English (Orland, 1997). The study suggests that although the passage from being a teacher of children to becoming a teacher of teachers is shaped by strong emotional and motivational dispositions, it is also a highly conscious and gradual process of developing communicative competencies, whereby the mentor learns to redefine his/her context of teaching in order to make sense of his/her new context of mentoring. At an operational level the study indicates that there is a definite need to prepare teachers for this passage by providing opportunities to voice and articulate these connections in teacher education programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-68
Number of pages16
JournalCambridge Journal of Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Learning to mentor as learning a second language of teaching'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this