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The impact of teaching practicum on pre-service teachers’ perception of ELT

Arığ, Ayşe
The purpose of the current study is to explore and identify the effects of practicum on pre-service English teachers’ perceptions of ELT. The study aims to interpret student teachers’ beliefs and perceptions after their first practicum experience during their school visits in FLE 425 School Experience. Five senior pre-service EFL student teachers, who had their first teaching experience in FLE 425 took part in the study. All student teachers were studying in the Department of Foreign Language Education at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. This study is designed as a qualitative case study. Semi-structured interviews, instructor’s notes, post-school experience conference, and observation, reflection and teaching tasks were used as the data source. The findings showed that the prior beliefs of the participants present an effect on their beliefs before their first practicum experience. During FLE 425, with the help of their new experiences, the feedback they received from their mentors, and the guidance given by the university instructor, their beliefs and perception started to change and at the end all participants gained a different perception on the application of ELT in classrooms compared to their previous beliefs. Furthermore, school experience encouraged the student teachers to realize what they have learned at METU are applicable in real classes. Concerning the findings, earlier exposure to real teaching environment should be ensured by more practicum courses, observation or teaching opportunities before senior year of teacher education programs to help prospective English teachers become more competent in the language teaching profession.