Linguistics and L1 Transfer in the Service of Pre-Service L2 Student Teachers


In my talk, I will establish the unique contribution of integrating two major perspectives into Foreign Language (FL) teacher education, particularly to Student Teachers (ST's) who are training to teach a FL that is NOT their native language. The first is based on insights from modern linguistics; the second adopts the concept of first language transfer as a high-order learning skill. Based on my experience as a linguist and an English teacher educator, I will show how such an approach develops students' meta-linguistic awareness – of the grammatical differences between the FL and their mother tongue, and of the resulting difficulties and errors. It will be suggested that this approach provides the ST's with a thorough understanding of the dynamics of the FL, which makes up for the lack of native speaker intuitions and even establishes a meaningful bond between the ST's and the FL that they are training to teach. Not only does this awareness minimize common language errors among English STs and improve their production and comprehension of English, it also equips them with effective tools for teaching their future EFL students at school. Various types of common errors in English related to e.g. tense and aspect, word classes, the passive and modals will be analyzed, and their sources will be identified and explained. Through the discussion of these common errors, it will be demonstrated how the perspective proposed here provides an insightful approach to meaningful and effective language education.

Author Information
Talia Rubovitz-Mann, Hemdat Hadarom Academic College, Israel

Paper Information
Conference: ECLL2014
Stream: Language education

This paper is part of the ECLL2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon