What do pre-service English Language Teachers have to say for their future?
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CitationAltinmakas, D. (2023). What do pre-service English Language Teachers have to say for their future? ,13th International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice (ALAPP) 4-6 September 2023, Glasgow, UK.
The dignified socio-cultural value attached to the teaching profession is in decline not only in Turkey, but also in many other parts of the world. Previous studies (Aksu et al., 2010; Fray & Gore, 2018; Heinz, 2015) have shown that pre-service teachers might have altruistic, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations at diverse levels when they embark on their teacher education programmes (TEP). It has also been widely studied that pre-service teachers’ initial motivations and conceptualizations of the teaching profession are subject to change over time due to the gap they observe and experience between the theory and practice, precarious employment, lack of financial resources and benefits, low salary, limited opportunities for promotion and professional development, unstable work-life balance, ideological pressures, and demanding parents and educational stakeholders. This study will present the preliminary findings of an on-going research exploring pedagogical beliefs, professional conceptualisations and motives of 20 pre service English language teachers studying their second and third years of a TEP in Istanbul, Turkey. Guided by reflective practice theory (East, 2022; Farrell, 2021), the first data set was obtained from web based logs where participants were guided with questions to reflect on to what extent the training they receive in TEP corresponds to the practice they observe in their internship schools and how this experience reformulates their pedagogical beliefs. The second data set was collected using focus-group interviews where the participants were asked to comment on their motives to choose and continue to practice the teaching profession. The results indicate that pre-service English language teachers have ambivalent beliefs and attitudes toward their future practices, mainly pertaining to the socio-political and economic turmoil in the country, accelerating inflation and challenging living conditions, prevalent notion of native-speakerism in private schools, and technological innovations gradually replacing the role of teachers.