Exploring Malaysian ESL Pre-service Teachers' Perceptions on Knowledge of Learners, Digital Literacy and 21st Century Competency


  • Fetylyana Nor Pazilah
  • Harwati Hashim
  • Melor Md Yunus
  • Karmila Rafiqah M. Rafiq


English as a Second Language; pre-service teachers; teacher training program; 21st-century skills; digital literacy


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Goal 4 is centred on providing good and quality education for all. To achieve this goal, the supply of quality teachers, particularly in English as a second language (ESL), should be increased to align with the current globalisation in which individuals are well equipped with English language skills. Hence, teacher training programs play a significant role in producing quality teachers and taking notice of the knowledge needed by ESL pre-service teachers in the 21st century. However, there is a gap in previous studies in understanding the knowledge of ESL pre-service teachers, particularly on digital literacy, knowledge of learners and 21st-century competency. Thus, this study aims to explore the ESL pre-service teachers' perspectives towards knowledge of learners, digital literacy and 21st-century competency to be an effective teacher in the 21st century. This paper employed a full qualitative method with 10 ESL pre-service teachers at a public university in Malaysia. The data were collected through a focus group discussion and were analysed using thematic analysis. Based on the findings, the ESL pre-service teachers reported that it is pivotal for them to know and be able to implement 21st-century skills in their classrooms. Additionally, the ESL pre-service teachers mentioned that they should be able to have digital literacy and have awareness towards learners. This study contributes to teacher training programs in understanding the knowledge needed by a modern teacher. Future research could investigate the challenges ESL pre-service teachers face in the 21st century.



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