Analysis of the pre-service teachers’ teaching anxiety and coping strategies: A Turkish Elementary School Context
The aim of this study is to investigate the construct of English as a foreign language (EFL) pre-service teachers' feelings of anxiety before, while, and after experiencing teaching English within a Turkish elementary classroom setting. Specifically, this intrinsic qualitative study investigates the anxiety sources for pre-service teachers in their practicum experiences and the ways they adapted to cope with these anxiety-provoking sources. The data were triangulated by consulting three sources of data (e.g., open-ended questions in the self-report forms, open-ended questions in the peer-reflection forms, and diaries) relating the 32 participants' teaching experiences. The findings indicated that prior to teaching experience, classroom management is the major teaching anxiety source and the frequently employed coping strategy is to consult their mentors and cooperating teachers. However, during the actual teaching experience, being observed by a mentor was the most common concern and to cope with it, each participant developed different coping mechanisms. Finally, receiving negative feedback from mentors decreased self-confidence and to compensate, pre-service teachers frequently asked mentors to provide further advice. It is implicated that teacher education programs raise the awareness of pre-service teachers of the potential challenges awaiting them in the practicum experience and equip them with coping strategies.
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