Previous research into student teachers’ knowledge about language concluded that overall the picture was fairly bleak. Such research focused on the knowledge about language that the student teachers possessed when they moved from secondary school education into Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes. However, few studies have investigated the impact of the increasing demands on teachers, made in curricular documents throughout the last 20 years, to improve students’ abilities in language and whether student teachers’ knowledge about language had improved as a result of these curricular imperatives. This article reports on research into perceived and actual levels of knowledge about language conducted in a university in Scotland with students training to be primary teachers and secondary English and modern language teachers. Findings reveal that student teachers’ levels of linguistic knowledge, as measured by the instrument employed in this study, are generally low contrasting with their own more positive perceptions of their competence.
- student teachers
- knowledge about language