Publication Details

Jones, P. T. & Chen, H. (2012). Teachers' knowledge about language: issues of pedagogy and expertise. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 35 (2), 147-168.


The new Australian Curriculum: English (ACARA, 2012) has considerable implications for teachers' knowledge about language (KAL) and pedagogic practice. To successfully implement the functionally oriented model of grammar proposed by the Curriculum, many teachers will need to expand their expertise in grammar to understand 'the structures and functions of word- and sentence-level grammar and text patterns and the connections between them' (ACARA, 2009. p. 7). They will also need to apply that knowledge to enhance their students' learning outcomes. This paper describes a small-scale research project involving a group of primary and secondary teachers in a targeted professional learning program. The initial findings have implications for theory and practice. In terms of theory, the research provides one of the first studies of the implementation of the new Curriculum. The case study reported underscores the importance of the implementation phase for the Curriculum and of the need for appropriate professional learning programs. The paper argues that such programs must go beyond a 'train-the- trainer' or 'one size fits all' model. They must be nuanced enough to account for the range of teacher needs in terms of linguistic knowledge and the contexts in which they will enact the Curriculum.

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Australian Journal of Language and Literacy

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