A Bottom Up View of the Needs of Prospective Teachers

by Peter Watkins
University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom

This article considers the provision of short pre-service initial teacher education courses, such as the Cambridge ESOL CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) course. Its starting point is the experiences of the prospective teachers who undertake the courses. A series of interviews were carried out and the key points of the discussion are presented and analysed here. Tentative conclusions are drawn about the needs of these teachers and suggestions of what might constitute “best practice” in the field are made. This includes the centrality of the teaching practice (TP) sequence, the deliberate reduction of hierarchies through language choices, and supporting reflection on previous teaching when planning, as well as in the traditional “feedback” phase.

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