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“We Are Left in Limbo!”: Chinese EFL Student Teachers’ Teaching Practicum Experience

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Tensions between vision and reality in the teaching practicum is a significant issue in research and practice globally, but scanty attention has been awarded to research into areas of tension in teaching practice itself. This paper reports on a study that examines a cohort of Chinese English as a Foreign Language (EFL) student teachers’ perceptions of the tensions arising in their teaching practicum in secondary schools. Triangulated research methods were employed for data collection. Reflective papers were employed as the main instrument of data collection, with classroom observation and field-notes used as supplementary sources of evidence for the occurrence of various unexpected difficulties. The overriding cause of this situation appeared to be the foundationalism paradigm that the teacher education program followed. The study highlights the need for teacher education programs to deal with emergent issues by way of critical postmodernist ideologies and make concerted efforts with schools to help student teachers continually adjust their visions in their practice.

Affiliations: 1: School of Foreign Languages, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079,; 2: School of Foreign Languages, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China


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