What do preservice EFL teachers expect from their mentors?
Preservice teachers learning to teach English as a Foreign Language (EFL) require mentoring within the profession. EFL speakers learning to teach EFL may require particular attributes and practices from their mentors to advance their professional school experiences. What do EFL preservice teachers expect from their mentors? This study involved a written survey administered to 91 Vietnamese preservice teachers involved in an EFL degree. Results indicated that these preservice EFL teachers had specific needs when considering mentors’ personal attributes. These included a mentor who is enthusiastic (57%), helpful (27%), friendly (25%), and knowledgeable (20%) with communicative competence (18%). It was also claimed that desirable mentoring practices should involve constructive guidance, especially sharing experiences (32%), checking lesson plans before teaching an EFL lesson (21%) and providing more opportunities for EFL teaching (12%). In addition, these preservice teachers (n=91) required a mentor who could provide an understanding of the system requirements (e.g., curriculum 38%, school policies 32%, and assessment 18%), model EFL teaching (e.g., method and manner of delivery 52%, pronunciation 25%, and writing lesson plans 15%), articulate pedagogical knowledge (such as teaching strategies 37%, classroom management 34%, motivating students 17%, and dealing with unexpected situations 13%), and provide direct and detailed feedback about EFL teaching performance (56%) and English content knowledge (23%). Preservice teachers have particular mentoring requirements that may assist their development as EFL teachers. These attributes and practices include developing personal inter-relationships and directing mentors to provide system requirements, specific pedagogical knowledge, modelling EFL teaching practices, and articulating feedback on such practices. However, further research is required to bridge the gap between mentors' practices and mentees’ needs towards guiding such practices through university programs.