APPLIED LINGUISTICS STUDENTS’ CLASSROOM TEACHING EXPERIENCES: CHALLENGES AND REWARDS
Students’ classroom experiences provide a rich source of information on language use, content, and syntactic categories concerning classroom pedagogies. This study used the exploratory-descriptive research approach that looked into the student teachers' experiences during their English language teaching exposure. The journal entries were analyzed and categorized through content analysis, whereby the data were carefully and systematically examined and interpreted by identifying patterns, themes, and biases. Twenty Applied Linguistics students participated in this study conducted during their 12-week English language teaching practice as part of their course requirement in their English Language Teaching (ELT) Methodology class. These students handled classroom teaching as student teachers, where they applied English language teaching strategies in the English classes they were assigned to manage. These students wrote their classroom teaching experiences in their reflection journals. Such data served as the basis of their classroom teaching practice as well as their teacher-mentors’ feedback. These data were collected, organized into themes, and triangulated through document analysis and conversation with their mentors. Results show that the students experienced three main categories of challenges: self-related, specifically on their teaching skills and personal attributes, 2) classroom management, and 3) student attributes. On the other hand, there were identified themes centered on teaching rewards that surfaced. The rewarding moments were experienced with the teacher-mentor, students, and their self-reflections. Students’ classroom teaching experiences contributed to their teaching perspectives that might improve their teaching practice, another basis for curricular reforms.