“Preparing the English-language teacher for the 21st century: the revised programme of the University of Athens for prospective teachers”
The new economy and new communication technologies have prompted a reconceptualisation of what literacy is and what kinds of literacy are needed by learners today in order to function effectively in tomorrow’s economy and society. The promotion and development of the range of literacies and competencies needed by learners, has called for significant changes in teacher roles, responsibilities, competencies and skills and has in turn necessitated changes in the aims and content teacher education programmes in order to effectively prepare teachers for their new agendas. In this article an attempt is made to highlight the various new roles and responsibilities that 21st century language teachers are expected to take on and fulfil, and how teacher education programmes can best prepare language teachers for these. Recent approaches to and the goals for the pre-service training and education of language teachers are presented as well as new areas of concern for the preparation of future teachers such as the importance of student teachers’ beliefs and personal theories, the value of reflection and the importance of the teaching practice experience for the effective preparation and socialisation of teachers. These areas of concern have been taken into account in restructuring the Pre-service EFL Teacher Training and Education programme of the Faculty of English Studies of the University of Athens. A presentation of the reformed goals and structure of the programme together with innovations being planned for the improvement of the programme close this article.