ESL Teacher-Candidates’ Beliefs About Language


  • Douglas Fleming
  • Francis Bangou
  • Osnat Fellus



How do ESL teacher-candidates grapple with beliefs about language during their professional training? In this article, we present the findings of a qualitative research study conducted in a large eastern Canadian university Bachelor of Education program. As Johnson (2010) has recently noted, despite extensive research and theoretical work that stresses the importance of functional conceptualizations of language based on social practice, much ESL teacher training still revolves around the skills needed to transmit antiquated notions centered on descriptions of phonology, morphology, syntax, and grammar. This study identifies five key factors that influenced how the teacher candidates in this study thought of language: prior beliefs, interaction with peers, the course textbook, lectures, and the teaching practicum. We found that our participants demonstrated willingness to consider language as social practice and argue that this tendency can be strengthened in particular through the integration of teacher-training course content as it pertains to functional conceptions of language with the practicum experience.




How to Cite

Fleming, D., Bangou, F., & Fellus, O. (2012). ESL Teacher-Candidates’ Beliefs About Language. TESL Canada Journal, 29(1), 39–56.