Evaluation of ELT Practicum Courses: Exploring the Perspectives of Student Teachers and Graduated Student Teachers

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran


Practicum as a component of the English language teacher education program has been welcomed by pre-service teacher education institutes. Despite the great emphasis laid on practicum by Farhangian University, it has not been evaluated comprehensively by the student teachers and graduated student teachers up to now.  The main objective of the study was to explore the benefits and problems of the practicum program. To do so, a qualitative case study was employed. 25 informants were recruited using a purposive sampling procedure. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews with student teachers and graduated student teachers. The interpretational and reflective analysis techniques were employed to analyze the data. The findings were content analyzed in terms of benefits/advantages and challenges of the practicum. They indicate that practicum courses make the student teachers ready for real teaching, help them learn about the realities of real teaching and overcome the negative attitudes and feelings about the teaching profession. It has been also found that the practicum program needs revision in terms of evaluation, quality of placement schools, and cooperation between mentors, university educators and student teachers. Findings can be used by teacher training institutes, practicum educators, school mentors, and EFL student teachers.


Akcan, S. (2010). Watching teacher candidates watch themselves: Reflections on a practicum program in Turkey. Profile: Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development, 12(1), 33-45.
Akcan, S., & Tatar, S. (2012). An investigation of the nature of feedback given to pre-service English teachers during their practice teaching experience. Teacher Development, 14(2), 153-172.
Bartholomew, S., & Sandholtz, J. (2009). Competing views of teaching in a school–university partnership. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25, 155–165.
    Basiri, B., Nasr, A., Mirshahjafari, S., & Mehrmohammadi, M. (2016). Explanation and Prioritization of Required Skills for Teaching in Farhangian University from Authorities and Professors’ Point of View. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 7(3 S3), 221-221.
Brookhart, S. M. (2007). Expanding views about formative classroom assessment: A review of the literature. In J. H. McMillan (Ed.), Formative classroom assessment: Research, theory and practice (pp. 43-62). Teachers College Press.
Canh, L. V. (2014). Great expectations: The TESOL practicum as a professional learning experience. TESOL Journal, 5(2), 199-224.
Caires, S., Almedia, L., & Vieira, D. (2012). Becoming a teacher: Student teachers’ experiences and perceptions about teaching practice, European Journal of Teacher Education, 35(2), 163-178.
Celen, K. M., & Akcan, S. (2017). Evaluation of an ELT practicum program from the perspectives of supervisors, student teachers, and graduates. Journal of Teacher Education and Educators, 6(3), 251-274.
Chang, K., Jung, K., & Choi, B. (2008). A study on the curriculum for teaching pre-service secondary English teachers. English Language Teaching, 20(2), 213–241.
Choy, S. C., & Oo, P. S. (2012). Reflective thinking and teaching practices: A precursor for incorporating critical thinking into the classroom. International Journal of Instruction, 5(1), 167-182
Cohen, E., Hoz, R., & Kaplan, H. (2013). The practicum in pre-service teacher education: A review of empirical studies. Teaching Education, 24(4), 345-380.
Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2018). Research methods in education (7th ed.). Routledge.
Coskun, A., & Daloglu, A. (2010). Evaluating an English language teacher education program through Peacock’s model. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 35(6), 24−42.
Darling-Hammond, L. (2006a). Constructing 21st-century teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 57(3), 300-314.
Darling-Hammond, L. (2006b). Powerful teacher education. Jassey-Bass.
Darling-Hammond, L. (2007). Building a system for powerful teaching and learning. In R. Wheeling (Ed.), Building a 21st Century U.S. Education System (pp. 56-74). National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future.
Darling-Hammond, L. (2017) Teacher education around the world: What can we learn from international practice? European Journal of Teacher Education, 40(3), 291-309.
Da Silva, C. S. C., & Teixeira, M.A. P. (2013). Internship experiences: Contributions to the school-to-work transition. Jan.-abr, 23(54), 103-112.
Dereobalı, M., & Ünver, G. (2009). Okulöncesi öğretmenliği lisans programı Derslerinin öğretim elemanları tarafından genel bir bakış açısıyla değerlendirilmesi. İnönü Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 10(3), 161-181.
Eom, M. R., & Uhm, J. Y. (2010). A survey on perception and needs for pre-service teachers before and after teaching practicum. Journal of Human Resource Management Research, 17(1), 127-149.
Farrell, T. S. C. (2008). Here’s the book, go teach the classes: ELT practicum support. RELC Journal, 39(2), 226−241.
Ferguson, R. F. (1991). Paying for public education: New evidence on how and why money matters. Harvard Journal of Legislation, 28, 465-498.
Ferguson, R. F. (1998). Teachers’ perceptions and the black-white test score gap. In C. Jencks & M. Phillips (Eds.), The Black-White test score gap (pp. 273-317). Brookings Institution Press.
Gall, M., Borg, W., &, Gall, J. (1996). Educational Research (Ed.) An Introduction. Longman Publishers.
Gan, Z. (2013). Learning to teach the English language in the practicum: What challenges do non-native ESL student teachers face?. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38(3), 92-108.
Goldhaber, D. (2006). National board teachers are more effective, but are they in the classrooms where they’re needed the most?. Education Finance and Policy, 1(3), 372-382.
Goldhaber, D. (2002). The mystery of good teaching: Surveying the evidence on student achievement and teachers’ characteristics. Education Next, 2(1), 50-55.
Grootenboer, P. (2005). The Impact of School-Based Practicum on Pre-Service Teachers’ Affective Development in Mathematics. The Journal of Education, 7(12), 18–32.
Grudnoff, L. (2011). Rethinking the practicum: Limitations and possibilities. Asia Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 39(3), 223-234.
Hennissen, P., Beckers, G., & Moerkerkeal, G. (2017). Linking practice to theory in teacher education: A growth in cognitive structures. Teaching and Teacher Education, 63, 314-325.
Hitchcock, G., & Hughes, D. (1995). Research and the teacher: A qualitative introduction to school-based research (3rd Ed.). Open University Press.
Hobson, A. (2002). Student teachers’ perceptions of school-based mentoring in initial teacher training (ITT). Mentoring and Tutoring, 10(1), 5-20.
Hobson, A., Malderez, A., Tracey, I., Giannakaki, M., Pell, G., & Tomlinson, P. (2008). Student teacher’ experiences of initial teacher preparation in England: Core themes and variations. Research Papers in Education, 23(4), 407–433.
Karim, A., Shahed, F. H., Mohamed, A. R., Rahman, M. M., & Ismail, S. A. M. M. (2019). Evaluation of the Teacher Education Programs in EFL Context: A Testimony of Student Teachers’ Perspective. International Journal of Instruction, 12(1), 127-146.
Kerakas, A. (2012). Evaluation of the English language teacher education program in Turkey. ELT Weekly, 4(15), 1-16.
Kılıç, A., & Acat, M. B. (2007). Öğretmen adaylarının algılarına göre öğretmen yetiştirme programlarındaki derslerin işe vurukluk düzeyi. Sosyal BilimlerDergisi, 17, 21-37.
Koç. G. (1998). Öğretmenlik uygulaması dersinin gazi üniversitesi mesleki eğitim fakültesi öğrencileri üzerindeki etkisi, Yayınlanmamış Yüksek Lisans Tezi. Hacettepe Üniversitesi, Ankara.
Korthagen, F., & Wibbels, T. (2001). Learning from practice. In F. Korthagen, J. Kessels, B. Koster, B. Lagerwerf, & T. Wubbels (Eds.), Linking practice to theory: The pedagogy of realistic teacher education (pp. 32–50). Lawrence Erlbaum.
Linnehan, F. (2003). A longitudinal study of work-based adult-youth mentoring. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 63(1), 40-54.
Masoumpanah, Z., Tahririan, M. H., Alibabaee, A., & Afzali, K. (2017). Evaluation of the Undergraduate TEFL Program at Farhangian University: Merits and Demerits. Iranian Journal of Applied Linguistics (IJAL), 20(2), 157-193.
Mattsson, M., Eilertsen, T. V., & Rorrison, D. (2011). What is the practice in teacher education?. In M. Mattsson, T. V. Eilertsen, & D. Rorrison (Eds.), A practicum turn in teacher education (pp. 1-15). Sense Publishers.
Merç, A. (2010). Self-reported problems of pre-service EFL teachers throughout teaching practicum. Anadolu University Journal of Social Sciences, 10(2), 199-226.
Musset, P. (2010). Initial teacher education and continuing training policies in a comparative perspective: Current practices in OECD countries and a literature review on potential effects. OECD Education Working Papers, 48, Paris: OECD Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1787/5kmbphh7s47h-en
Ng, T. W. H., & Feldman, D. C. (2007). The school to-work transition: A role identity perspective. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 71(1), 114-134.
Peacock, M. (2009). The evaluation of foreign-language-teacher education programs. Language Teaching Research, 13(3), 259-278.
Qazi, W., Rawat, K. J., & Thomas, M. (2012). The role of practicum in enhancing student teachers’ teaching skills. American Journal of Scientific Research, 44(12), 44-57.
Richards, J. C., & Crookes, G. (1988). The practicum in TESOL. TESOL Quarterly, 22(1), 9-27.
Sanders, W. L. (1998). Value added assessment. School Administrator, 11(55), 24- 27.
Sanders, W. L. (2000). Value-added assessment from student achievement data. Cary: NC: Create a National Evaluation Institute.
Salehizadeh, S., Shabani, M., & Malmir, A. (2020). Professionalism: The perceptions of Iranian English teachers of competence and performance in language teaching. Iranian Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 9(1), 1-14.
Sanders, W.L., & Rivers, J.C. (1996). Cumulative and residual effects of teachers on future student academic achievement (Research Progress Report). University of Tennessee
Şahin, Ç., Kartal, O. Y. and İmamoğlu, A. (2013). Okul öncesi öğretmen yetiştirme programı hakkında okul öncesi öğretmen adaylarının görüşleri, Ahi Evran Üniversitesi Kırşehir Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi (KEFAD,) 14(1), 101-118.
Szabo, S., Scott, M., & Yellin, P. (2002). Integration: A strategy to help pre-service teachers make the connection between theories and practice. Action in teacher education, 24(3), 1-9.
Tarman, B. (2012). Öğretmenlik deneyimi dersinin öğretmen adaylarının öğretmenlik mesleğine yönelik inançlarına etkisi, Kurann ve Uygulannada Egitim Bilimleri, 12 (3), 1951-1973.
Wamahiu, S.P., & Karugu, A.M. (1995). Qualitative Research in Education. In K.M. Wiria & P.S. Wamahiu (Eds), Issues in Educational Research in Africa Nairobi (pp. 114 -130). East African Education Publishers.
Wayne, A. J., & Youngs, P. (2003). Teacher characteristics and student achievement gains: A review. Review of Educational Research, 73, 89-122.
Whitley, B. E. (1996). Principles of research in behavioral science. Mayfield publishing company.
Wiersma, W. (1995). Research methods in education: An Introduction. Allyn and Bacon.
Wilkinson, J. S., & Bhandarkar, P. (1999). Methodology and techniques of social research. Himalaya published House.
William, D. (2007). What is assessment for learning?. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 37(1), 3-14.
Williams, H. S., & Alawiye, O. (2001). Student teachers’ perceptions of a teacher-training program. College Student Journal, 35(1).
Yan, C., & He, C. (2010). Transforming the existing model of teaching practicum: A study of Chinese EFL student teachers’ perceptions. Journal of Education for Teaching, 36(1), 57-73.
Yin, J. (2012). The effects of teaching practicum on pre-service teachers’ perception of teaching English in secondary schools. Studies in Foreign Language Education, 13, 117–132.
Yin, J. (2018). Empowering teachers through core refection: A case in Korea. The Journal of Asia TEFL, 15(4), 1005–1020.
Yin, J. (2019). Connecting theory and practice in teacher education: English-as-a-foreign-language pre-service teachers’ perceptions of practicum experience. Innovation and Education, 1(4), https://doi.org/10.1186/ s42862
Yin, R. K. (2014). Case study research: Design and methods (5th ed.). Sage.
Yuan, R., & Lee, I. (2014). Pre-service teachers’ changing beliefs in the teaching practicum: Three cases in an EFL context. System, 44, 1-12.
Zeichner, K. (2010). Rethinking the connections between campus courses and field experiences in college-and university-based teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 61(1-2), 89–99.
Zeichner, K., Payne, K. A., & Brayko, K. (2015). Democratizing Teacher Education. Journal of Teacher Education, 66(2), 122-135.