Innovation and
Education

ISSN(Online) 2524-8502

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Empirical Research

Published online November 21, 2019 https://doi.org/10.1186/s42862-019-0003-z

Copyright © Innovation and Education.

Connecting theory and practice in teacher education: English-as-a-foreign-language pre-service teachersâ

Judy Yin

Department of English Education, Korea National University of Education, Cheongju, South Korea

Correspondence to:Judy Yin

Received: May 1, 2019; Accepted: September 25, 2019

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Abstract

The present study explores the perceptions of pre-service teachers regarding their experiences in the university teacher-training course during the practicum. In particular, the study focuses on how the pre-service teachers perceived the effects of the university course, as they tried to connect theory and practice during the practicum. A total of 15 participants enrolled in the methodology course for teaching speaking attended a 4-week practicum in secondary schools. They recorded their reflections on their teaching experiences in their reflective journals and they were interviewed after the practicum. The results of the study showed that the university course prepared them the fundamental skills to prepare for lessons and reflect on their teaching practice. However, the course failed to prepare them adequately to cope with the realities of the classroom context, as the university course only provided them with an idealistic view of the classroom. The implication of the study suggests ways to better connect university courses with the actual classroom practices to provide pre-service teachers the maximum support to practicalize their knowledge during the practicum.

Keywords: Theory and practice, Pre-service teachers, Practicum, Professional development