Teacher language awareness, or TLA, is defined by Thornbury in About Language (1997) as “the knowledge that teachers have of the underlying systems of the language that enables them to teach effectively.” The same Thornbury, in a 2017 edition of the same book, says that “teachers of English not only need to be able to speak and understand the language they are teaching; they also need to know a good deal about the way the language works: its components, its regularities, and the way it is used.” (Thornbury, 2017)
Stephen Andrews, in his seminal Teacher Language Awareness, published in 2007, tells us that “the possession of an adequate level of TLA is an essential attribute of any competent L2 teacher. (…) there is a relationship between the language awareness of the L2 teacher and the effectiveness of that teacher as indicated by the language learning achieved by his/her students.”
In this talk, we’ll discuss the importance of TLA for (especially) Brazilian teachers of English, discuss some important areas of language we should all be (more) aware of, and discuss ways in which we can all improve our TLA and become, to use Andrews’ term, more competent L2 teachers.
Some areas that will be addressed in this 3-hour workshop include:
- the importance of sound TLA;
- the impact of TLA on students’ learning;
- important areas of grammar, phonology, lexis, and more, that we should all be more aware of;
- how to improve our TLA.