Incorporating a Practicum in TESOL Methodology Courses to Promote Service Learning

Peter Tze-Ming Chou


This study examined student attitudes toward teaching from their practicum experience and how their experiences met the requirements of service learning, which is defined as a curriculum-based community service that integrates classroom instruction with community service activities. Service learning also provides opportunities for students to interact directly with the local community. In this study, 27 students who enrolled in an English Teaching Methodology course participated in a 12-week project in which they taught beginning and intermediate English to elementary school students as part of an afterschool program. A survey was conducted at the end of the semester and student teaching reflections were collected for quantitative and qualitative analysis. The results of the study indicated that the students had a favorable experience regarding the practicum requirement in the English Teaching Methodology course. Among the students, 85% (n=23) expressed that a practical teaching experience should be part of the curriculum and that a requirement of 3–4 hr of teaching is appropriate for a hands-on teaching experience. The paper ends with a discussion of methods for including a practicum requirement in the syllabus and what instructors should focus on when establishing service learning projects.

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