Language education for non-native speaker language teachers
Keywords:Non-Native Speaker Language Teachers, Language Teacher Training, LSP
For non-native speaker language teachers (NNSLT), that is, teachers who teach a language which is not their own first language, one very important skill is competence in the target language. However, the development and maintenance of language skills are often neglected in language teacher training for language teachers. It is assumed that the trainees have already reached the requisite level of competence prior to entry into teacher training programmes, or that the general language courses available to them are sufficient in addressing these language needs. In this paper I argue for the introduction of a new area of Language for Specific Purposes (LSP) to deal with the language skills needed by this learner group. I examine the literature relating to language for non-native speaker language teachers and review research in the teaching of language to NNSLTs. I describe a language course designed specifically for the education of non-native speaker teachers of English at a German university. Questionnaires, surveys and pre- and post-testing methods were used to evaluate the course. The study’s results suggest that the LSP approach is both feasible and successful in improving student teachers’ language skills for the purposes of teaching.