Urgently Needed: A Praxis of Language Awareness Among Pre-Service Primary Teachers

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This paper presents a qualitative analysis of structured student reflection following carefully designed, collaborative student-centered activities to demonstrate how pre-service teachers may initiate perspectives on language awareness necessary in developing a praxis of language awareness. I begin by identifying a framework for a praxis of language awareness, building on van Lier’s sociocultural perspective on language and learning. I then consider the literature on Teacher Language Awareness methodology, concluding that this methodology is applicable to primary instruction because it addresses language teaching in multiple disciplines and is relevant in today’s global context where primary teachers often address multiple language learners. As primary teachers are a child’s introduction to schooling, they must be arbiters of language awareness. I then present carefully designed collaborative student-centered activities aimed at modeling elements of a praxis of language awareness. Analyzing students’ structured reflection in response to these activities, the findings illustrate students gained perspectives on collaboration, learning with and from their student teams, as well as a deeper understanding of the importance of equity versus equality in education. In conclusion, I argue that in today’s context, there is great urgency to build TLA and suggest that TLA training supports Banks call for transformative citizenship education.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalLanguage Awareness
StatePublished - 2020


  • Education
  • Language and Literacy Education

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