“I know but I can’t explain.” The role of knowledge about English grammar in second language teacher education.

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Since Bloor’s (1986) original work, which found native speakers (NS) to demonstrate, ‘fairly widespread ignorance’ (Bloor 1986 p.159) with knowledge about grammar (KAG), further studies have resulted in similar conclusions. However, KAG is essential for teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Despite this, due to English being the Lingua Franca of the world today (Crystal 2003), and the demand for English teaching high, short TESOL courses without KAG education dominate. In addition, KAG is not studied in UK secondary education.
    This thesis presents mixed method, longitudinal research and uses programme evaluation to investigate, examine and explore the impact an enhanced KAG focus has on pre-service native English speaking teachers (P-S NESTs). The enhanced focus consists of a 48 contact-hour KAG programme, which is undertaken before P-S TESOL education. It assumes no prior KAG, uses a cognitive constructivist approach to teach up to a B1/B2 KAG level and ensures KAG is applied to a TESOL context.
    Study 1 investigates P-S NESTs’ KAG prior to TESOL education. The participants are P-S NESTs undertaking TESOL as a minor degree at a UK university in the years 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. Quantitative findings demonstrate KAG levels from an initial test are weak. Qualitative findings demonstrate P-S NESTs lack KAG awareness.
    Study 2 examines how the KAG programme influences P-S NESTs’ KAG. Quantitative findings collected from assessments throughout the KAG programme show a significant improvement in KAG levels. Qualitative findings demonstrate a change in P-S NESTs’ KAG perceptions.
    Study 3 explores the impact the KAG programme has on P-S NESTs’ development of awareness for grammar teaching during the TESOL practicum. Ten P-S NESTs participate. Quantitative and qualitative analysis demonstrate the positive impact the KAG programme has on the development of teacher language awareness for grammar teaching.
    This thesis contributes to knowledge by demonstrating why, and providing evidence to show how, KAG should and can be an essential part of P-S TESOL education for UK P-S NESTs.
    Date of Award2019
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorDr Sarah Taylor-Jones (Supervisor), Dr Kenan Dikilitas (Supervisor) & Ayoade Amuda (Supervisor)

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