Early Career EFL Teachers’ Instructional Challenges/Kariyerlerinin Başındaki İngilizce Öğretmenlerinin Karşılaştıkları Öğretim Zorlukları
Although there is an established strand of literature on the ways pre-service EFL teachers are learning to teach, the professional learning experiences of in-service EFL teachers have been underexplored. This study explored the early career EFL teachers’ instructional challenges, the ways they cope with those challenges, and the extent to which their pre-service teacher education prepared them to teach in their current context. It relied on qualitative data gleaned from in-depth individual interviews with ten practicing EFL teachers working at an intensive English program at a private university in Turkey. Constant comparative method was utilized to analyze the data. The findings demonstrated that EFL teachers’ instructional challenges stemmed from curricular constraints and learners’ lack of motivation to learn and use English, both of which are situated within their context. Their collegial interactions with coworkers and autonomous ventures to seek support proved instrumental in handling those challenges. As for their pre-service teacher education, the participants voiced concerns primarily about too much theoretical knowledge in the coursework, which left very little room for practical application, and the content, length, and contexts of clinical experiences. This research contributed to the relevant literature on teachers’ challenges in teaching context as part of their ongoing teacher learning, distance of linguistics, SLA, and literature courses from ELT practices, and complex role of teacher candidates’ clinical experiences in contributing to their socialization into teaching profession and identity development.
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