Exploring Pre-service Teachers’ Perception of Interactional Activities in Lesson Planning

  •  Justina, A. Njika    


With the plethoric number of students in Cameroonian classrooms today, there is a common cry from teachers about the impracticability of creating interactional language lessons in the English as a foreign language (EFL) classroom. The implication of this is that, if interactional lessons have been identified as cardinal in the process of language learning, our learners are not or are less likely to be learning English as a foreign language. This paper holds that no teacher will be able to create interactive lessons if they do not fully understand what it is and how it works. The paper therefore investigates student teachers’ perception of interaction on a less theoretical stance to posit that their readiness to teach is governed by their perception of the concept of interaction and an understanding of how it works. Data were collected from two batches of 30 pre-students students from the Department of English at ENS Yaounde in 2018 and 2019. Upon completion of three semesters that qualify them to do practicum, they were asked to submit language lessons meant for interactive classrooms. The lessons were coded identifying trends related to interactive activities and later classified. Evidence from the data demonstrates significant recourse to previous learning culture of top-bottom lessons and high incidences of question–and-answer as a dominant pattern of interaction. In keeping with this, the paper questions the training approaches and argues that the inability of pre-service teachers to demonstrate practical understanding of classroom interaction is counterproductive to what potentially holds as language learning and that modules of training which allow teachers to seek patterns would be more productive than those which train them on classroom interaction.

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