Main Article Content
Multiculturalism and diversity are integral elements in teacher education programmes in 21st century learning, especially in an era where globalization and internationalisation are regarded as important elements of development and growth. International teaching practicum (ITP) is seen as more and more relevant in promoting the above, as well as providing real challenges for pre-service teachers (PST). This qualitative study explores and examines the challenges faced by PSTs trained in an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context while teaching in an English as a Second Language (ESL) context, and strategies they used in their attempts to surmount those challenges. The study also aims to understand how the challenges have made them understand the realities of teaching in an international context, especially in an ESL environment. Data obtained from the focused interviews and reflective journals indicate four emerging themes of the challenges faced by the pre-service EFL teachers in ESL settings: (1) curriculum, (2) planning of lessons, (3) language proficiency and, (4) cultural differences. The main implication stresses the need to integrate components and elements of multiculturalism into future ITP and teacher education programmes.