Apples

Becoming a Language Teacher: A dream come true or a source of anxiety?

Authors:
Anne Huhtala

Keywords:
Teacher education, Professional development, Second language teaching, Narratives, Swedish

Abstract:

In this qualitative study the author examined personal narratives written by 14 Finnish speaking student teachers of Swedish, in order to find out what they tell about their thoughts and feelings concerning their future work as language teachers. The following three themes were in focus: firstly, what university students tell about their reasons for wanting to become teachers in the first place; secondly, what kinds of worries concerning their future work they mention in their narratives; and thirdly, how student teachers could be supported during transition from teacher education to teaching. According to the study, students choose teaching for reasons that are related to: (a) teacher identity and (b) teaching profession. They see teaching as meaningful and rewarding, but tell about worries connected to: (a) appearing in class and not having enough subject knowledge; (b) contacts with teenagers and their parents; and (c) heavy workload and lack of time. The results give support to previous studies indicating that novice teachers would benefit from organized mentoring sessions during transition to working life, so as to make it smoother and less challenging.

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Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies