Perceived and actual knowledge about grammar upon commencing pre-service TESOL education

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This study explores the perceived and actual knowledge about grammar (KAG) brought to TESOL education by pre-service, UK, native speakers (NS), through the contextualisation of a comparison with Turkish, non-native speakers (NNS). Participants were asked to define the word grammar and state their personal perceptions about their KAG both before and after a small KAG test. The test asked for knowledge of parts of speech, verb tense forms and functional elements to be demonstrated through; labelling with metalanguage, defining, identifying, naming and providing examples. This mixed method research builds on work initiated by Bloor (1986). The results demonstrated three points; firstly, NNS KAG was significantly higher than NS in all areas of the test, secondly, NS levels of KAG were severely low and thirdly, perceived ideas of KAG from NNS were accurate and from NS inaccurate. A discussion about NS’ and NNS’ KAG perceptions in terms of efficacy and motivation, which includes NS’ and NNS’ secondary English education as an influencing factor is given. Two suggestions are made for UK, pre-service TESOL education: firstly that it is self-sufficient and non-reliant on UK secondary education and secondly that NS need to study a KAG course before TESOL education begins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261 -277
JournalELT Research Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2016


  • knowledge of grammar (KOG)
  • teacher language awareness (TLA)
  • , knowledge about grammar (KAG)


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