This paper reports on findings from a small scale preliminary study that sought to explore how practising teachers feel about their university education they received as part of their training as teachers of English. To do this, a web-based self-report survey form was administered to 49 practising Turkish teachers of English (mean length of experience = 6 years) across Turkey. Descriptive statistical analysis revealed that participants were fairly satisfied with their program. Qualitative analysis showed that participants often complain that they did not experience real life teaching during their education; that they were unaware of contextual challenges awaiting; and that there was a mismatch between ideals and actuals. Correspondingly, participants suggest that teacher training programs offer more real life teaching experience and help trainee teachers develop skills that will help them overcome real life teaching challenges. This study has demonstrated that listening to practising teachers may help teacher trainers develop more down-to-earth teacher education programs. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.