To become an effective English language teacher, one needs to have a strong command of the English language, good pedagogical skills and cultural awareness of the target language. Short-term international experiences have therefore become a required component of all pre-service Postgraduate Diploma in Education programmes (English) in Hong Kong. The major aim of the immersion programme is to provide student-teachers with an opportunity to participate in an intensive English language and cultural awareness course at a university in an English-speaking country. Another important aim is for the participants to develop pedagogical knowledge and try out their learning in local schools. In this study the participants were encouraged to reflect on their expectations and experiences of the 6-week immersion programme and to write about these in pre-programme questionnaires, reflective journals, and programme evaluations. Positive feedback about the participants’ language development, understanding of education systems and development of teaching competency was collected. Areas for improvement were also examined. The findings will be of relevance to those institutions which wish to organize similar overseas programmes for student-teachers.
|Published - 2008