Primary English teacher education in Portugal: an exploratory study uri icon


  • The expansion of early language learning has fostered the need to prepare qualified teachers of English to young learners. This paper presents findings from a multi-site case study of initial teacher education programmes created in 2015 in Portugal when English became compulsory in grades 3 and 4. The study investigated intended professional learning competences and tasks as described in curricula, as well as teaching and inquiry practices developed in practicum settings. A multi-method approach was used, involving the analysis of ten higher education institutions’ curricula, a sample of practicum reports, the responses of former student teachers to an online survey, and reflective records from student teachers, faculty supervisors, and cooperating teachers. Findings portray a reflective, inquiry-oriented view of professional development and the enactment of current teaching approaches. The study stresses the role of curricula and practicum arrangements in creat- ing meaningful professional learning scenarios and promoting lear- ner-centred teaching in schools.
  • The study was supported by CIEd – Research Centre on Education, Institute of Education, University of Minho, projects UIDB/01661/2020 and UIDP/01661/2020, through national funds of FCT/MCTES-PT, and by FCT project funding n° UIDB/04097/2020 through CETAPS, Nova University Lisbon. The authors wish to acknowledge the commitment and hard work of all colleagues who were involved. In addition, a word of gratitude is due to the former student teachers, supervisors and cooperating teachers who participated in the study.

publication date

  • October 2022