This study analyses the contemporary work and potential contribution of university supervisors supporting preservice teachers´ during their practicum experiences in initial English language teacher preparation. The study draws on a complex data derived from surveys, interviews, and observations of university supervisors working in a diverse array of English language teacher education programmes across Chile. A cultural historical activity theory perspective is employed to explore and analyse the motives, activities, and actions that underpinned the work of these supervisors. Findings suggest that supervisors have to respond to often contradictory demands and an overemphasis towards quality assurance actions that are potentially detrimental to preservice teachers´ development. The work of supervisors is analysed to understand how potentially to re-envision their role and functions, toward proposing how to productive expand supervisory practices as an integral part of teacher education.