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Volume 15 Number 1, Spring 2018, Pages 1-256 PDF Download

A Study on NNS Teachers' Language Awareness

    Sun-Hee Kwon

The goal of the study is to examine non-native speaking (NNS) English teachers' language awareness in relation to their metalinguistic knowledge and language proficiency. Data was collected from sixty-two (N=62) NNS in-service teachers who had teaching experiences in South Korea and forty-four (N=44) NS pre-service teachers in a TESOL certificate or degree program in the U.S. All participants were asked to complete a series of tests to check their levels of metalinguistic knowledge (MK). The tests of MK consisted of 34 test items asking participants' grammaticality judgement and 15 items of metalanguage use. In addition, NNS participants answered a self-report questionnaire of their English language proficiency (LP). The results from the tests and questionnaire were examined using t-tests, correlation, and regression analyses. The findings indicated that the NNS group performed differently on the tests of two types of MK; the NNS group outperformed the NS group on the test of metalanguage use knowledge, whereas the NS group performed better than the NNS group on the test of grammaticality judgement. Also it was found that the scores of grammaticality judgement in the NNS group were correlated to the scores of LP at statistically significant levels. In regression analysis, the grammatical judgement on the indefinite article appeared to be the only predictor of LP. Implications and suggestions from the findings are discussed.

Keywords: NNS teacher language awareness, metalinguistic knowledge, language proficiency