“This is why students feel lost when they go into teaching practice”: English language teachers' views on their initial teacher education

Sue Garton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The last 20-25 years have seen a significant shift in the views about what teachers need to know to be able to teach. This shift has led to new developments in the theory of second language teacher education (SLTE) and a growth in research in this area. One area of research concerns the attitudes and expectations of those learning to become teachers. While most studies in this area focus on teacher education programmes in BANA countries, this article looks at data from student teachers studying in Russia and Uzbekistan. The study employed a quantitative and qualitative research design, using a researcher-designed on-line questionnaire. Through snowball sampling, data from 161 students and recent graduates in the two countries were collected, analysed, and compared to investigate the content of SLTE programmes. The study identified what the novice teachers felt were the strengths and weaknesses of their programme, and what changes they would like to see. Results showed that while the respondents were mainly satisfied with their methodology, and theoretical linguistics courses, they felt the need for more practice, both teaching and language practice. The data also revealed that, in Uzbekistan in particular, the idea of global English struggles to take hold as native-speaker models remain the norm. The implications of the study underline the need for SLTE to explicitly link theory to practice and to promote the idea of varieties of English, rather than focus on native-speaker norms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-387
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2020

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  • Language teacher education
  • Russia
  • Uzbekistan


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