The Influence of Short-term International Intensive Programme on Student Teachers’ Perception of Their Future Profession
Foreign language teacher training programmes often require student teachers to spend some time in a country where the target language is spoken. While research on the role of study abroad experiences in general teacher education is well documented, investigations dealing with the impact of mobility initiatives on FL teacher education are rather scarce. The present study, based on oral interviews, examines long-term effects of a two-week international workshop, an Erasmus Intensive Programme IP, on student teachers’ perception of their role as FL teachers. The IP aimed at finding ways to incorporate elements of the arts into English classes in four European countries: Germany, Poland, Turkey and Lithuania. The IP participants were invited to take part in lectures, practical workshops and visits to local schools. The results of the study reveal that within approximately a year after the completion of the IP the participants from Poland express a general positive attitude towards the infusion of the arts into the EFL curriculum. The IP experience evoked the future teachers’ reflection upon a number of key issues in the profession of FL teaching: the degree of individualization and learner autonomy in class, rejecting the idea of teacher as solely an authority figure, the use of various forms of social interaction in class, and self-improvement or life-long learning being inherent aspects of the teaching profession.