Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number2 June 2021                                                 Pp. 377-398

Full Paper PDF 

Service-learning in English as a Second Language Teacher Training Program: Exploring Pre-
service Teachers’ Authentic Learning Experiences

Fetylyana Nor Pazilah
Faculty of Education
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysia
Corresponding Author:

 Harwati Hashim
Faculty of Education
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysia

Melor Md Yunus
Faculty of Education
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysia

Received: 2/25/2021                  Accepted: 6/18/2021                  Published: 6/24/2021


As the world we live in has become more digitalized, challenges are occurring left and right, especially in the education field. In gaining quality teachers, there is a need to train future educators to have the ability to adapt to the ever-changing technology and global changes. However, pre-service teachers often seem unprepared and unable to adapt to changes. Hence, implementing service-learning in the teacher training program is vital as it provides the opportunity to engage and experience 21st-century real classroom lessons. Service-learning has also been proven to be an effective approach in training pre-service teachers. This paper aims to investigate the perceptions of pre-service teachers toward service-learning in terms of authentic learning experiences. It highlights how the implementation of service-learning approach in learning to teach writing in a second language context facilitates pre-service teachers in terms of authentic experience. A qualitative method was conducted to investigate the authentic learning experiences among 54 pre-service teachers in a public university in Malaysia. Data were collected through open-ended questions. Based on this study, the findings showed that the pre-service teachers could experience the real-life environment of teaching and learning and applying educational theories learned. They were also able to obtain hands-on experience in interacting with the students and marking their sample essays. It is hoped that future teachers and educational organizations can benefit from understanding the benefits of service-learning in teacher training programs. Future researchers could investigate the challenges of service-learning in teacher training programs.
Keywords: English as a second language, authentic learning experience, digital knowledge, pedagogical knowledge,
pre-service teachers, teachers training, service-learning

Cite as:  (2021). Service-learning in English as a Second Language Teacher Training Program: Exploring Pre-service Teachers’ Authentic Learning Experiences.  Arab World English Journal, 12 (2) 377-398.


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Received: 2/25/2021
Accepted: 6/18/2021
Published: 6/24/2021  

Fetylyana Nor Pazilah is a postgraduate student at the Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). She is currently pursuing her doctorate (PhD) in TESL. Her fields of interest are pre-service teachers’ education, technology in education and gamification. ORCid ID:

Harwati Hashim, PhD, is a senior lecturer at the Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). She is an educational technology enthusiast and an m-learning practitioner.  Her areas of concentration are TESL, mobile learning, Mobile-assisted Language Learning (MALL), technology acceptance as well as innovative pedagogy and the use of technology in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). ORCid ID:

Melor Md Yunus is an Associate Professor and currently serves as the Deputy Dean of Research and Innovation at the Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She obtained her doctorate in TESOL from the University of Bristol, United Kingdom. She is best known for establishing the integration of ICT in teaching and learning besides having the enthusiasm in language education and innovation as well as TESL fields.