Cooperative learning (CL) is an instructional model that continues to have great impact on student learning across different disciplines and at all educational levels. However, little is known about how CL influences EFL pre-service teachers’ learning outcomes. This study examined the effect of CL on content knowledge and teaching self-efficacy of EFL pre-service teachers using a pre-test/post-test quasi-experimental design. The experimental group (N = 35) and the control group (N = 30) were randomly selected from two Cambodian regional teacher training centres. For 16 weeks, the experimental group was exposed to CL while the control group participated in lecture-based learning. Data was collected before and after the experiment through an achievement test and an adapted scale on teaching self-efficacy. The ANCOVA results revealed that the EFL pre-service teachers in the experimental group outperformed their conventionally trained counterparts in terms of grammar and vocabulary achievement and teaching self-efficacy. This study adds to the existing literature, showing that CL significantly contributes to the increase in content knowledge and teaching self-efficacy among EFL pre-service teachers and highlights the need for applying CL in pre-service instruction.
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