An analysis of the classroom language of primary school student-teachers with reference to its interlanguage forms, communicative activities and instructional strategies : with implications of these for teacher training in Zambia
This study was designed to analyse and to describe the language of non-native student-teachers who use English as a medium of instruction and who also teach it as a subject. The aim was to describe the formal and functional features of the variety of English they use and to discover whether it constitutes a language system that applies identifiable and descriptively adequate sets of rules. In his analysis, the researcher discussed definitions and 'general properties' of communication to establish criteria within which communicative activities were described in terms of information structuring by student-teachers and information processing by learners. He observed that student-teachers' language generally consists of systematically occuring features that constitute a spoken interlanguage that can be described as a language in its own right. He also observed that the interlanguage variety consists of syntactical and stylistic features some of which are identical to those that characterise native-speaker discourse. At the level of communication, the reseacher observed that student-teachers' and pupils' communicative utterances tend to be defective in situations where higher order thinking processes and ideas need to be articulated in the L2. Another important observation was that student-teachers do not adequately use their interlanguage to realise the important pedagogical functions of explaining, elaborating and classifying key concepts and issues that arise in teaching/learning situations. On the basis of these findings, the reseacher proceeded to suggest course guidelines for a Language and Communication Course which he hopes will improve student-teachers communication skills in Zimbabwean ESL classrooms.