Proceedings of The 6th International Conference on Teaching, Learning and Education
Problems of Pre-Service Turkish EFL Teachers During the Practicum Process: Expectations Vs. Realities
Ali MERÇ, Gökhan ÖZTÜRK, Elçin ÖLMEZER ÖZTÜRK
The practicum process has always been at the heart of the pre-service language teacher education programs. Although studies on the teaching practicum experiences of pre-service English teachers try to identify some problems and offer solutions, research addressing the issue from the perspectives of all stakeholders by examining both the expectations of pre-service teachers and the potential problems they face in this process is rather limited. In this regard, this study aimed to uncover the expectations and problems prospective EFL teachers have during the practicum process based on the opinions of various stakeholders. 160 pre-service teachers, 22 university supervisors and 39 cooperating teachers are the participants of the study. A problem control checklist about the potential problems in the practicum process was administered to the participants both at the beginning and the end of the practicum process as pre- and post-tests. The analyses documented the expected and real problems indicated by the participants. The findings also suggested that all stakeholders reported significantly higher levels of problems at the beginning than at the end. In other words, the practicum process did not give rise to problems that were projected by the participants at the beginning. The findings are discussed and interpreted along with the current literature in view of the context of the study. Some practical solutions that will potentially increase the quality and effectiveness of the practicum process are also offered for student teachers, supervisors, and the decision-makers for a better teaching practicum process for the future teacher candidates.
keywords: language teaching, teaching practicum, pre-service teachers, teacher education