ESL pre-service teachers: What do they need?

Year: 2009

Author: Fan, Si, Le, Thao

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Due to the increasing numbers in the English as a Second Language (ESL) students entering education institutions in their goal to be professional teachers, universities and teacher education programs are under pressure to accommodate and provide assistance to these students in relation to their significant cultural and language differences (Cruickshank, Newell, & Cole, 2003). These ESL pre-service teachers bring into Australian classrooms a multi-cultural perspective and a bilingual learning experience; however, some of them confront challenges and obstacles due to their language and cultural backgrounds. This study explores the question of what are the ESL pre-service teachers' perceptions of teaching and learning in a teacher education program, and what support strategies can be adopted to better assist them. These ESL pre-service teachers were encouraged to participate in focus group meetings and semi-structured interviews, surveys were also given to them in relation to their practicum experiences. The findings of this study have important implications for both the current and future ESL pre-service teachers, as well as the Australian teacher education programs. The findings suggest more supportive, inclusive strategies to better support ESL pre-service teachers in their learning to become globally acceptable teachers.

Key Phrase: Teacher Education and Professional Development of Teachers