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TESOL Teacher Education: Novice Teachers' Perceptions of Their Preparedness and Efficacy in the Classroom

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Abstract

This study examined the teacher education of novice teachers of English to speakers of other languages (ESOL). A survey and follow-up interviews were employed to investigate novice teachers' perceptions about four aspects of their teacher preparation: (a) degree of preparedness to teach after graduating from a teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) program, (b) preparedness after classroom experience (up to 3 years), (c) sense of efficacy to complete teaching practices in adult ESOL classrooms, and (d) perceptions of what was useful to them in the TESOL program. Accredited ESOL teachers with less than 3 years of experience (= 115) completed a questionnaire that explored their perceptions of preparedness and efficacy to teach in adult ESOL programs in Ontario, Canada. Eight teachers participated in follow-up semistructured interviews. Findings show that although, overall, novice teachers increased their perceptions of preparedness by gaining experience in the classroom, their sense of efficacy to perform within certain teaching expectations was task specific and highly situated. The practicum and “real” teaching experiences were found to be the most influential aspects of the induction programs. These findings have implications for teacher educators, TESOL institutions, and accreditation bodies that are committed to preparing qualified teachers for adult ESOL programs.

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