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Baptism of fire into the teaching profession : tips from the practicum.


Hussin, Habsah and Swaran Singh, Charanjit Kaur Baptism of fire into the teaching profession : tips from the practicum. In: 9th Malaysia International Conference on English Language Teaching (MICELT 2012), 8-10 Oct. 2012, Kinta Riverfront Hotel and Suites, Ipoh Perak . . (Unpublished)


The practicum is ESL (English as a Second Language) trainee teachers' debut into the teaching profession. Ideally, these trainee teachers should be looking forward to undertaking the practicum as it is the culmination of their study at the university and an avenue for them to hone their skills as teachers in app lying the knowledge gained, and translating theories in to practice appropriate to the context, and needs of their learners. As they are teaching in a 'real context' of the profession for the first time, the practicum is their 'baptism of fire' into the teaching profession and could prove to be an overwhelming experience for some of them . As such, they are bound to make mistakes (both serious and mild) which if not curbed and rectified, may affect their effectiveness in their teaching, In this paper, I am going to focus specifically on common mistakes made by trainee teachers in the early part of their practicum (before the interventions by their mentors and supervisors) in the planning stage and in implementing the lesson planned. The Planning Stage These trainee teachers have two areas of weaknesses in the planning stage (as discerned in their lesson plan s) i.e. in delineating the objectives and the activities incorporated in to the lesson. Specific objectives. Often, trainee teachers do not delineate the specific objectives of the lesson succinctly. They may not be aware that even the wording of the objectives is crucial. For in stance, to write the opening line of the specific objectives in this way: 'By the end of the lesson .. .' is not appropriate because this gives the impression that evaluation is summative, and all evaluation throughout the lesson is accumulated at the end of the lesson. A better idea is to write the opening line like this: 'As the lesson progresses .. ' to illustrate that evaluation is on-going (formative) throughout the lesson. Trainee teachers are observed to ad here closely to the traditional way of writing the specific objectives: ', .. students should be able to answer 4 out of 8 questions correctly.' Writing the objective in this way indicates that by inference, the teacher's expectation of his/her students is just average. The catch in this type of objective is that when the teacher's target is high: ' ... students should be able to answer 9 out of 10 questions' .

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Additional Metadata

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: Faculty of Educational Studies
Notes: Full text are available at Special Collection Division Office.
Keywords: ESL (English as a Second Language) trainee teachers; Teaching profession; Common mistakes; Effectiveness of teaching.
Depositing User: Samsida Samsudin
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2014 02:17
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2014 04:06
URI: http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/27405
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