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Prospective Teacher Concerns: A Comparative Study of Departments of English Language Teaching and Language and Literature

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Author(s): mustafa naci kayaoğlu | mustafa kerem kobul | şakire erbay

Journal: Tarih Kültür ve Sanat Araştırmaları Dergisi
ISSN 2147-0626

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 262;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: teacher concerns | prospective teacher | ELT | language and literature

ABSTRACT
Language teachers in Turkey do not take a standard pre-service education as graduates of English Language Teaching (ELT), linguistics, and translation departments all end up with language teaching profession and this, in turn, results in different teaching needs and concerns. The researchers argue that these different concerns may be one of the underlying causes of chronic language education problems in Turkey, in that Turkish Ministry of National Education does not take into consideration the comparative picture of practicing teachers and composes curricula, teaching materials, and compulsory one-shot professional development activities that all reflect “one size fits all” ideology. Therefore, determining the needs and concerns of pre-service language teachers is of vital importance. The current study has arisen from Griffith’s (2012) call for more larger-scale studies on teacher concerns across different contexts via triangulation. The researchers aim at not only investigating teacher concerns but also painting a much detailed comparative picture between ELT and linguistics department prospective teachers. The researchers target convenience sampling, in the full knowledge that this group will not represent the whole population. However, this type of non-probability sampling can serve well when it is easy to gather much informative data. Building on the recent work of Griffiths (2012), the researchers have modified and extended the existing measurement tool of Griffiths (2012) to investigate the issue much deeper and compensate the caveats. They adapted her instrument and asked the participants to add their thoughts as well as deciding their concern level. The results are mainly in line with the referred study in terms of the rating and frequency. The study reveals that there are some differences between the concerns of ELT department students and language and literature department students. While prospective teachers studying at the ELTdepartment were found to be highly concerned about technology, their counterparts studying at the langauge and literature department were not interested in the issue. The study also reveals that despite EIL’s large space in the literature (Cogo, 2012; Sowden, 2012), it was not found as a major concern for the prospective teachers. Methodology was also the least rated concern for the prospective teachers at both departments on the contrary to the well-accepted literature.

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