Language Awareness and Teacher Development

Authored by: Stephen Andrews , Angel M. Y. Lin

The Routledge Handbook of Language Awareness

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138937048
eBook ISBN: 9781315676494
Adobe ISBN:


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As Ball et al. (2008: 389) note, “Most people would agree that an understanding of content matters for teaching. Yet, what constitutes understanding of the content is only loosely defined”. This chapter seeks to address this issue and to explore what constitutes “usable professional knowledge of subject matter” (ibid. 402) in relation to language teaching, together with the related question of how best to foster such knowledge among pre-service and in-service teachers. The chapter focuses on the second/foreign-language (hereafter L2) context, addressing both the teaching of L2 as a subject and also the teaching of content subjects through the medium of the learners’ (and often the teacher’s) L2. In doing so, the issues will be viewed through the lens of Teacher Language Awareness (or TLA – see, for example, Andrews, 2007), TLA being “… a label applied to research and teacher development activity that focuses on the interface between what teachers know, or need to know, about language and their pedagogical practice” (Andrews and Svalberg, 2017: 220).

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