Campus meets classroom: Video conferencing and reflective practice in language teacher education

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Overcoming the theory-practice gap and providing pre-service teachers with experiential learning opportunities during their university studies is one of the major challenges of foreign language teacher education. Using video conferencing is one viable way of integrating theoretical and practical elements which may thereby help pre-service teachers to develop an analytical and exploratory stance on lesson planning, materials development and teaching techniques. This article focuses on a small-scale exploratory questionnaire study featuring a school-university partnership, in which pre-service EFL teachers collaborate with a school-teacher of an English class (grade 6) from a German comprehensive school. In the scope of a university seminar, the pre-service teachers cooperatively designed tasks and exercises informed by their knowledge of theoretical concepts (e.g., task differentiation) and, in a second step, observed their ideas being implemented into practice via video conference. As the findings of the study indicate, the pre-service teachers considered video conferencing a helpful instrument to be actively involved in a teaching situation and to gain practical knowledge in the initial phase of teacher education. Moreover, the participating pre-service teachers appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with an experienced teacher within a (virtual) community of practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe European journal of applied linguistics and TEFL
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)121-139
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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