Improving Pre-Service Teacher Development Practices in English as a Second Language: A case of Secondary School Teacher Preparation at Great Zimbabwe University in Zimbabwe.
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Ordinarily, Teacher Development at the level of Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) at Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) comes in two major phases spread over four years - the theoretical and the practical based phases. The theoretical phase comes in the form of courses based on pedagogical content and professional knowledge in the initial years at the university while the practical based phase comes in the form of school-based Teaching Practice (TP) for real and direct teaching experiences. The initial theoretical phase is often based on the liberal arts-like education to develop the whole teacher for adaptable life-long service. This is translated by a number of subject that can vary according the dictates of the focus of a particular national curriculum. TP on the other hand, provides student-teachers the opportunity to apply not only the knowledge acquired in the initial phase but also the schoolbased curriculum they are immersed in plus other contextual experiences they might have. If well-structured and blended, the two phases may ensure a smooth transition from a novice student teacher to an expert professional teacher for long-life practice.