Main Challenges in the Training of Language Competence of Preservice Teachers of English as a Foreign Language: A Qualitative Study

Ana Fernández Viciana, A Fernández Costales


This paper investigates students’ perception on the linguistic training received at the Degree in Primary Education (specialization in English) at a Spanish university. The paper is intended to analyse the perception of preservice teachers regarding the language training in L2 received in the academic programmes adapted to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The research objective is twofold: first, the paper is set to analyse students’ insights on their language training and fill a gap in the scientific literature, since no empirical research has been devoted to study the view of preservice teachers on their language training in the new degrees. Second, the study aims at opening new insights into the type of language training and the methodological approaches in language subjects in the Degree of Primary Education. The research relies on a sample of 4 participants who were interviewed in the academic year 2015 / 2016. The paper uses a qualitative approach aiming to collect information that leads to a better understanding of perceptions of prospective teachers of English as a Foreign Language in Spain. The research tool was a structured interview adapted from previous instruments and tested in a pilot stage. The main finding of the research is that the participants of the study underline the relevance of achieving a good communicative competence in the foreign language, as this promotes their self-esteem and confidence in the classroom and stimulates the interaction with their students by using the L2. In addition, preservice teachers also stress the importance of learning suitable vocabulary for teaching in Primary Education. The current investigation underlines the paramount role of the communicative competence in the L2 to build teachers’ professional development.

Keywords: pre-service teachers, linguistic and methodological training, approaches of FLL, language competence, language training, perceptions of prospective teachers of English as a Foreign Language.

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