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VIC2021 Keynote: Foreign Language Teacher Education: Lessons from Covid19

The COVID-19 pandemic placed many restrictions to the way teachers of EFL are educated, mostly regarding teaching practice. With schools closed, student teachers had to find creative ways to put into practice the theory they learned in their methodology courses. While this restriction posed a problem, it also offered the possibility of developing new and effective ways of educating teachers.

I will describe one successful model of teacher education that started off as a distance learning framework and since then, has also become very effective in hybrid teaching contexts (where you have onsite and online students simultaneously). The model capitalizes on the future teacher's experience as a language learner and helps effectively bridge theory and practice while promoting critical thinking and instructional decision-making that guarantees that what student teachers learn online can have a positive impact on their language learners' language development.

The model has six phases that start with an exploration of the student teachers' beliefs about language learning and teaching, and then progresses to making them aware of how different core concepts and practices are relevant to language learning. From that awareness, new understandings of the core concepts and practices are collaboratively co-constructed and tried out in the teacher education class so that when student teachers apply them in the real classroom, they do so in a principled and effective way. The role of reflection throughout the process is also explored.

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