LEXICAL COMPETENCE IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION (A STUDY OF LEXICAL AWARENESS)
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The present study looks at the non-native teacher of English as a foreign language at the tertiary level of education (university and college level) and his/her lexical competence. It seeks to demonstrate the connection between that competence and the form of instruction given to language students. The opening part of the paper discusses in general terms the nature of teacher's professionalism (competences) emphasizing both methodological competence (e.g. strategies of instruction and explanation) and linguistic competence (e.g. language awareness and use of metalanguage). In its research part, the study is a partial replication of a pilot project carried out by Zimmermann (2001), whose main aim was to evaluate awareness of lexical anomalies by native speakers (NS) acting as teachers of English as a second language at the tertiary level . The present study is based on a survey conducted among nonnative speakers of English (NNS) i.e. Polish EFL teachers at a college level. The survey consisted of a lexical acceptability judgment test and teachers' comments on lexical instruction. Also a personal data questionnaire was administered to the group of informants (teachers) to ensure the homogenous character of the group - first of all in terms of their learning history (type of teacher training received) and teaching history (levels, age groups and professional experience). The aim of the study was threefold: 1. - to evaluate lexical awareness of the EFL teachers; 2.- to comment on teachers' instructional and explanatory competence; 3. - to compare NS teachers (Zimmermann 2001) and NNS teachers in respect of language instruction. The conclusions of the study are to be implemented in courses of training of EFL teachers.
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