Online teaching placement during the COVID-19 pandemic in Chile: challenges and opportunities
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The 2019 Coronavirus pandemic has triggered significant changes in education systems worldwide and Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes have been particularly affected by the associated challenges. Due to school closures, teaching placements have had to shift from the face-to-face lessons to an entirely virtual model. Twenty-seven Chilean English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher candidates participated in this interpretative case study aiming at exploring the challenges and opportunities of this virtual teaching experience. The results indicate that factors such as the lack of direct interaction with learners and the sudden change of setting were among those that most strongly affected the participants’ own learning process. Despite the challenges presented, student teachers suggested that this unique experience would contribute positively, at least to a certain extent, to their teacher education and their future careers. Based on the findings of this study, a series of recommendations for ITE programmes are provided.
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