An Investigation of Metalinguistic Knowledge of Pre-Service Teachers of English in a Turkish Context
This study mainly aimed at investigating metalinguistic knowledge (MLK) of pre-service teachers of English. More specifically, it sought to explore MLK of pre-service teachers of English, the effect of gender and grade levels on their MLK, and their awareness of MLK. The study adopted a mixed methods research design. The quantitative data were collected from 120 pre-service teachers of English studying at Hacettepe University in 2017-2018 academic year spring term and 2018-2019 academic year fall term through Metalinguistic Knowledge Test used by Alderson and Horák (2010). The questions in the test intended to test the grammatical features encountered in the pedagogical grammar content of English language. The results of the quantitative data analysis indicated that the majority of the pre-service teachers of English had moderate level of metalanguage. While any significant effect of gender variables was not observed, grade level differences indicated a significant effect on their metalanguage. The qualitative data were collected from 18 pre-service teachers of English through semi-structured interviews and analyzed through thematic analysis. The results presented that almost none of the participants was well aware of the metalinguistic knowledge as a concept. When the participants were requested to express their self-perceptions on this concept, most of them stated that they did not think they had a sufficient level of MLK and that they needed further training on this domain. Besides, they added that internalizing metalinguistic knowledge could be really essential for English language teachers and it could make a great contribution to their grammar teaching practices.
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