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Microteaching as a Transitional Technique to Student Teaching



ABSTRACT  Microteaching is a teacher training strategy which has been employed since the early 1960's. Its basic components are: (1) a single concept to be taught, (2) a microteacher, (3) a microclass, (4) a brief teaching period, (5) various sources of feedback, and (6) an opportunity to reteach to a different class. Since the initial research at Stanford University, micro-teaching has frequently been altered in order to adapt it to the programmatic constraints (e.g., financial, philosophical, physical, geographical, etc.) at the institutions where it is employed. One adaptation incorporates microteaching as a vital segment of a seven- to eight-week methods course meeting three times a week. While preserving its original purpose-perfection of teaching techniques and styles-the constraint of having to compress theory and practice into a relatively short period of time lead to the alternate use of this strategy for the purpose of exposing the teacher trainee to ‘real’ teaching. The author discusses the organization and implementation of microteaching as an attempt to engage prospective foreign language teachers in ‘real’ teaching prior to the student teaching experience. Guidelines for this adaptation of microteaching include: (1) number of sessions, (2) securing the microclass, (3) the microclass setting, (4) a profile of a microclass, (5) the abbreviated lesson, and (6) the critique session. The article concludes with additional benefits afforded by the model discussed.