ELT SOPHOMORES’ EVALUATIONS ON THE APPROACHES AND METHODS COURSE

Çağla Atmaca

Abstract


Student teachers’ reflections on their course activities play an important role in both teacher educators’ reflective teaching practices and bettering pre-service teacher education programmes. Since teacher cognition is also shaped during pre-service education years, teacher educators should collaborate with student teachers to serve their needs better and refresh their academic identity. Thus, this study aimed to find out ELT sophomores’ evaluations on the Approaches and Methods Course. The study was conducted at a state university in ELT Department during 2018-2019 Fall term and there were 31 participants (8 males, 23 females, aged between 19-22) taking the course. The participants filled out a 10-item survey regarding their experiences and their opinions about the course activities, and content analysis was applied to code and categorize their written answers. All the participants indicated that this course is a professional requirement, basis of ELT and they have learnt various classroom activities or techniques. 11 think the approaches and methods learnt in the course are applicable in their future teaching contexts while 4 think they are inapplicable and finally 16 think some of them are applicable stressing the contextual differences, time constraints, crowded classrooms, different learner characteristics and effect of technology. 27 stated that they were taught English via GTM in their previous learning experiences. 27 indicated that the course contributed to their professional knowledge and skills in terms of gaining valuable teaching skills, having different standpoints, developing teaching experience, improving reading, comprehension and vocabulary, serving changing student needs. All reported that the preliminary discussions held at the very beginning of the class about the last week’s topic were a useful reminder of the previous topic, made easier adaptation to the lesson, were a good means for checking student understanding, reinforcement, better and easier understanding and getting ready for the new topic. 14 held negative perspectives about making theoretical presentations with their classmates. They focused on public speaking anxiety, presenter' incompetence, irresponsible members, complicated content. However, 13 held positive perspectives and focused on learner autonomy, cooperative skills, sharing responsibility, fun, feeling like a teacher. 29 stated that watching related videos about the approaches/methods at the end of the class was beneficial in terms of remembering the details, seeing real applications, fun, clear and better understanding, practical awareness, real life applications. 20 stated that they encountered some difficulties while making presentations such as public speaking anxiety, pronunciation mistakes, abstract language of the book, irresponsible members, intense content, lack of content knowledge. 14 stated that all course activities were useful, 10 found micro teaching as the most important activity whereas 10 found theoretical presentations as the least important activity. Finally, 14 recommended teacher lecturing instead of student lecturing for theoretical presentations. The findings offer significant clues for teacher educators for their delivery of instruction and give opportunities for a better understanding of student teachers’ learning preferences.

 

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reflective teaching, pre-service teacher education, teacher cognition, approaches and methods in ELT, ELT sophomore

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References


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