Pre-service teachers' knowledge of language concepts: Relationships to field experiences
Acquisition of language concepts by pre-service teachers (PSTs) is likely influenced by university coursework and field experiences, but little research has examined how. Knowledge of phonics and phonological awareness and confidence to teach reading were surveyed among primary PSTs at one New South Wales university, most in second year following completion of language concepts course (N = 150), others (N = 74) in third year following the first major field experience, when literacy-related experiences on field experience were also surveyed. Overall, PSTs' scores for knowledge of phonological constructs were similar to or higher than in previous research, and PSTs performed better on ability-based than on knowledge-based items. Phonological construct scores were positively related to confidence to teach sound-letter relationships. Phonological construct scores were unrelated to experience teaching the first two grades, or having in their supervising teacher a positive model for teaching code-related skills, but were positively related to exposure to a commercial phonics package, and negatively related to exposure to Reading Recovery.