Contradictions in Learning to Teach Digital Literacy Practices in an EFL Public Setting: An Activity Theory Analysis


  • Paula Andrea García Montes Universidad de Córdoba
  • Juan Sebastián Martínez Universidad de Córdoba
  • Andrés Romero Universidad de Córdoba



activity theory, contradictions, pre-service teachers, digital literacy practices, EFL, teacher education


Teaching reforms, methods for teaching efl and institutional requirements present a significant number of contradictions in the activity system of efl pre-service teachers (pst). As novice practitioners, efl pst are exposed to these con­tradictions while engaging in new activity systems, particularly when learning to put theory into practice. Hence, this case study examines the contradictions that an efl pst, from a university in Córdoba, Colombia, faced when incorporating digital literacy practices (dlp) in her planning as a result of her interaction with the activity theory (at) ele­ments. It also describes the shifts in agency that occurred when she was exposed to contradictory dynamics of teaching. The study involved the pst and a group of 35 students in 10th grade. Class observations and semi-structured inter­views with the pst revealed contradictions in terms of mediating artifacts, objects, division of labor, and rules. They also indicated how the identified contradictions could form the basis for a shift in her teaching activity system. These results suggest teaching programs should not only concentrate on how much our students learn new strat­egies but also on how much they have acquired transferable skills for transforming their contexts. Keywords: Activity theory; contradictions; digital literacy practices; pre-service teachers; efl; teacher education.

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Author Biographies

Juan Sebastián Martínez, Universidad de Córdoba

Undergraduate student, Universidad de Córdoba, Montería Colombia.

Andrés Romero, Universidad de Córdoba

Undergraduate student, Universidad de Córdoba, Montería Colombia,


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How to Cite

García Montes, P. A., Martínez, J. S., & Romero, A. (2022). Contradictions in Learning to Teach Digital Literacy Practices in an EFL Public Setting: An Activity Theory Analysis. Íkala, Revista De Lenguaje Y Cultura, 27(1), 105–124.

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