Teachers’ awareness of learners’ knowledge : the case of metalinguistic terminology
This paper describes a study which investigated the knowledge of metalinguistic terminology in a group of 372 first-year undergraduates in a tertiary institution in HongKong and compared this to their English teachers’ estimation of that knowledge and desire to use such terminology. It found (1) wide differences between learners in their knowledge of terminology; and, (2) wide discrepancies between this and the teachers’ expectations, some of which could lead to serious difficulties in the classroom. In general the teachers’ awareness of the learners appeared to be rather poor. Reasons why this situation is so serious are offered — notably the clash of academiccultures in the transition from secondary to tertiary education — and ways of resolving the problem are discussed.
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