Exploring tensions in integrating core practices into initial EFL teacher education programs in the Chilean context

Malba Barahona, Stephen Darwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Internationally, there is increasing interest in the value of incorporating core practices into second language (L2) teacher education programs. This article reports on a research project that investigated how a set core practices are integrated into the Methods courses and practicums in Chilean language teacher education programs for English as a foreign language (EFL). The study was framed by a two-stage, sequential data collection strategy based on a questionnaire (n = 48) and semi-structured interviews (n = 21) to university-based, Chilean English teacher educators. The questionnaire identified teaching practices in use, whilst the interviews sought to understand how teacher educators taught these identified teaching practices, as well as the rationale for these choices. Two practices – facilitating target language comprehensibility and building discourse communities – emerged as the most prominent practices. Primarily, these practices were taught through modelling, decomposing, planning and simulations. However, potentially more complex issues around translanguaging, inclusion strategies and cultural practices tended to be framed using more directive and teacher-centred pedagogies. The outcomes of the study highlight several critical issues for L2 teacher education: the relative balance between theoretical and practical domains often compounded by the lack of meaningful opportunities for authentic classroom practice; and the significant challenges faced by teacher educators by engaging in ‘practice’ in a crowded program structure.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLanguage Teaching Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Chile
  • EFL
  • core practices
  • practice-based approach
  • teacher education
  • teacher knowledge


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