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Re-Imagining Mentoring: Students’ Practicum Experience in ESL and EFL contexts
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Re-Imagining Mentoring: Students’ Practicum Experience in ESL and EFL contexts

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March 27, 2010.This presentation compares student teachers’ practicum experiences in ESL and EFL contexts and provides suggestions for improving practicum experience.

March 27, 2010.This presentation compares student teachers’ practicum experiences in ESL and EFL contexts and provides suggestions for improving practicum experience.

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  • 1. Katya Nemtchinova Seattle Pacific University Natalia Orlova UJEP, the Czech Republic
  • 2. Mentoring is a relationship between two people with learning and development as its purpose’. The mentor-novice relationship in the context of teaching is one of the most important strategies to support novices’ learning to teach, and, thus, to improve the quality of teaching.
  • 3. Study To examine the mentor/student teacher dyad by studying student teachers’ (and, where possible, mentors’) perceptions and assumptions about mentoring in the context of MA TESOL practicum. SPU P racticum Phase I: Observation to get a sense of the day-by-day progress of classes Phase II: Actual teaching experience at the host teacher's discretion.
  • 4. What teaching/mentoring skills did you bring to Phase II?
  • 5. At the beginning of Phase II, how much mentoring and guidance did you expect to receive/give about these issues?
  • 6. Were your expectations met during the practicum?
    • Yes (80%)
    • My practicum teacher exceeded all of my expectations.
    • My teacher was very encouraging.
    • I am thankful for the support that my practicum teachers gave me.
    • No (20%)
    • I had expected to be able to get feedback on my performance, but almost none was forthcoming due to pressures of her other teaching assignments.
    • I had expected to receive more feedback from the teacher, but she became seriously ill.
  • 7. My practicum teacher exceeded all of my expectations. The teacher met with me after every class to give feedback on my presentations and lessons. The teacher used a dialogic method with me when I would show him the lessons I was planning for the class. This means that he would not give a simple "approved/unapproved" answer to my class ideas. He would lead me to better lessons by asking specific questions about my knowledge of the class dynamics juxtaposed against what I wanted to do in class. This had the effect of not only helping me to create better lessons, but also gave me (what I like to call) a more "spiritual" or "organic" understanding of what teaching is. The process allowed me to develop an eye for the types of activities which would best serve the class. This process still influences me today.
  • 8. How much mentoring and guidance did you actually give the practicum student with these issues?
  • 9.
    • Students
    • immediate (80%)
    • regular (75%)
    • verbal (22%)
    • more (10%)
    • Teachers
    • immediate (82%)
    • regular (76%)
    • specific (31%)
    • student self-evaluation (12%)
    • generally positive (10%)
    What type of feedback was most helpful to you? (level of detail, how often)
  • 10. How do you define teacher identity? What skills did you see develop in you/ your practicum student’s teaching identity?
    • Students
    • discovery (57%)
    • trial and error (46%)
    • classroom management (38%)
    • interaction with students (21%)
    • encouragement and motivation (16%)
    • confidence (10%)
    • Teachers
    • confidence (100%)
  • 11. How did the mentoring relationship with the host teacher/ the practicum student affect your teaching?
    • Students
    • practical impact (57%)
    • emotional impact (53%)
    • Teachers
    • practical impact (27%)
    • motivational impact (31%)
    • meta-teaching (89%)
  • 12. What are the qualities of an ideal host teacher/practicum student?
    • Ideal host teacher
    • open (44%)
    • good model (42%)
    • feedbac k (27%)
    • patient (24%)
    • forgiving (19%)
    • Ideal student
    • open (45%)
    • organized (33%)
    • enthusiastic (29%)
    • feedbac k (29%)
    • patient (18%)
  • 13. What suggestions do the participants of the study have for the pre-practicum preparation of students?
    • Students
    • observation (including multiple) (35%)
    • self-evaluation (29%)
    • expectations (23%)
    • knowledge of institution policies (15%)
    • Teachers
    • multiple observations (47%)
    • self-evaluation (22%)
    • expectations (16%)
  • 14. Czech context: school placement
  • 15. Czech context: practicum format
  • 16. What teaching skills did you bring to the teaching practicum?
    • Language teachin g
    • (except writing) 80%
    • Class organisation 80%
    • Working with different
    • types of materials 70%
    • Maintain ing friendly classroom 20%
    • environment
  • 17. At the beginning of the practicum, how much mentoring and guidance did you expect to receive from your host teacher about these issues? A lot or some A little or none Don’t know Classroom management 83.3% 16.3% 0% Lesson planning 76.6% 23.3% 0% Sharing materials 70% 30% 0% On the spot support 46.6% 36.9 16.6% Outside of class time 56.6% 36.6% 6,6% Professional development 83.3% 9.6% 6.6%
  • 18. Pre-practicum expectations
  • 19. Were your expectations met or not met during the practicum?
  • 20. “ I was lucky that my cooperating teacher was not simply willing to analyze my lessons but he was ready to answer my questions and make me think by some of his questions.” “ No matter how hard I tried to get any feedback from the host teacher on my class performance, I couldn’t receive any as she was constantly busy.”
  • 21. What type of feedback was most helpful to you (level of detail, how often)?
    • Immediate informal 95%
    • Immediate formal 2%
    • Delayed formal 5%
    • Follow-up suggestions 70%
    • for further planning
    • Little or no feedback at all 6.6%
  • 22. How do you define
    • teacher identity?
    • the qualities of an ideal host teacher?
  • 23. What skills and qualities did you see developed in your teaching identity?
    • classroom management skills 94%
    • selecting materials and activities
    • relevant for the students 50%
    • confidence and wish to teach 15%
    • after graduation
    • voice modulation and “acting” 10%
    • awareness of self-improvement 45%
  • 24. What suggestions the participants of the study have for the pre-practicum preparation
    • F or peers :
    • For trainers:
    • select a good host teacher
    • be well prepared for each class
    • do not expect wonders
    • study carefully the textbook used at school
    • do not be discouraged by the negative experience – go ahead
    • t o have practicum earlier
    • more hours of observations, ideally in the same school
    • t o help to wide n the repertoire of useful techniques
    • more peer teaching on practicing grammar
  • 25. What did we learn?
    • 1. Teaching practicum is an important component of teacher training that positively shapes student teachers’ identity.
    • 2. The success or failure of the practicum depends on the establishment of a productive mentoring relationship between the host teacher and the practicum student.
    • 3. Mentoring has a positive effect on mentors.
    • 4. Professional development is an important part of teacher preparation.
    •  

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