The dynamics of the 21st century human life calls for adaptability to diversity, change and the ability to remove borders. Teacher education, in the midst of changes in social life, also calls for raising questions about pedagogical practices that can serve as a tool to make a difference. In this study, culturally relevant pedagogy is demonstrated as a promising strategy in promoting a positive environment in EFL classes that has the power to encourage acceptance of multiple perspectives, maintaining positive relationships and healthy thinking. In relation, this article aims to investigate pre-service EFL teachers’ experience of culturally relevant pedagogy in order to become a culturally responsive teacher. The participants were a group of 40 students, who were the pre-service teachers of an English language teacher education program at a state university in western Turkey. The pre-service EFL teachers registered for an elective English course, Language and Culture, conducted during the 2021-2022 fall academic year. The objective was to promote pedagogical ideas for the pre-service teachers’ future teaching practices. The qualitative data was gathered through narrative frames and focus group interviews and the analysis of the qualitative data indicated that the special modules designed for the course enabled them to become a culturally responsive teacher who could build resilience for their professional journeys and promote a non-judgmental mind in a multicultural setting.
Key words: Culturally relevant pedagogy, culturally responsive teacher, pre-service teacher education, English language teaching, resilience building, Syrian students in Turkey.
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