Reflections on pre-service teacher education in the time of mandatory online education: Challenges and suggestions
For more than a year, the world has been facing the Covid-19 pandemic that disrupts education unprecedentedly and severely with lockdowns leaving more than half of the world’s student population out of school according to the figures released by UNESCO in January 2021. This situation has forced a sudden and rapid transition from face-to-face education to mandatory online education worldwide regardless of the technological infrastructure of countries and educational institutions, and teachers’ and students’ pedagogical and psychological readiness for wholesome distance education. In Turkey, while the measures have been taken by the government to continue education without interruptions, the universities have also taken the initiatives to revise and adapt their programs to online teaching based on their resources.
In this talk, as a teacher trainer in an English language teacher education program, I will first reflect on my experiences and observations during the process of adaptation to new situation. Next, I will share the findings of a recent study that explores pre-service teachers’ and their instructors’ perceived benefits and challenges of mandatory online education they have experienced for the last three semesters. The data collected through an open-ended questionnaire from pre-service teachers and instructors at a state university have revealed findings, which I will discuss, with crucial implications for the future implementations of emergency distance education in initial language teacher education programs.
Assistant Prof. Evrim Eveyik-Aydın recieved her BA and MA degrees in English Language Teaching from Boğaziçi University in 1995 and 1999, respectively. As part of her MA studies, she developed an attitude scale to investigate EFL teachers’ attitudes towards Communicative Language Teaching. In 2000 she accepted a teaching assistantship position at the English Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA where she received some graduate courses on contemporary issues in Applied linguistics. After years of experience as a part-time and full time teacher trainer, she completed her doctoral studies in English Language Education in 2015 at Yeditepe University. She conducted a corpus based genre analysis study that offered a comprehensive framework for the rhetorical structure of the discussion sections of published research articles written in English in Applied Linguistics. Eveyik-Aydın has been offering courses including teacher research, school experience, teaching language skills, materials development, and teaching English to young learners at undergraduate level since 2010, and at graduate level since 2015 at Yeditepe University where she has also coordinated the practicum experience of senior ELT students for seven years. She currently conducts and supervises numerous research on pre-service teacher education, teacher cognition, corpus based genre analysis, and English for academic purposes.