|dc.description.abstract||This qualitative study explores the emotional experiences, challenges and coping strategies experienced by EFL student teachers during their practicum. The sample consisted of 16 pre-service teachers: 6 males and 10 females. Data collection methods included focus groups interviews, in-depth semi-structured individual interviews and critical reflective documents. Interpretation of data indicated that participants experienced a wide range of positive and negative emotions, mainly focused around areas related to their classroom practices, language proficiency, professional knowledge and support received during their practicum. Challenges faced emerged within the same context and indicated the need for a reorganization of the teaching education programme and a clarification of the roles and responsibilities held by the stakeholders involved in the practicum (i.e. student teacher, college supervisor, school principal and class mentor).
The coping strategies utilized showed that participants employed few positive effective approaches, whereas passivity, in reactions to the challenges encountered, shaped most of the other strategies used. This passivity in responding to practicum challenges necessitates the development of student teachers’ interpersonal and emotional intelligence skills. The findings also show an urgent need for more coordination and collaboration between the college and the schools of training.
This study, being the first of its kind in the Gulf region and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), contributes to a better understanding of student teachers’ emotions during the practicum and highlights areas which need reconsideration by policy makers, educators and curriculum designers at the micro and macro levels of teacher education programmes.||en_GB