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Level of subject knowledge required

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by sheffield_lad, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. sheffield_lad

    sheffield_lad New commenter

    Hey everyone,

    I'm due to start my PGCE in Secondary English this September and in preparation I've been using a self study guide to audit my knowledge. Now most of this I'm OK with but the part on grammar seems unnecessarily in depth. For example: talking about things like cloze procedure, subordinating conjunctions and identifying passages of text in very close grammatical detail, to the extent of recognising every passive/active sentence, the specific prepositional/adjectvial phrase used etc.
    Now my degree was in English Literature so I clearly have some work to do to get my language knowledge up to scratch, but I'm becoming concerned that I won't have the required knowledge to teach Key Stage 3/4. I can understand these more difficult concepts well enough but find it hard to express them in technical grammatical language. Do I need to be able to do this or would this sort of level of detail be only appropriate for Key Stage 5?
     
  2. sheffield_lad

    sheffield_lad New commenter

    Hey everyone,

    I'm due to start my PGCE in Secondary English this September and in preparation I've been using a self study guide to audit my knowledge. Now most of this I'm OK with but the part on grammar seems unnecessarily in depth. For example: talking about things like cloze procedure, subordinating conjunctions and identifying passages of text in very close grammatical detail, to the extent of recognising every passive/active sentence, the specific prepositional/adjectvial phrase used etc.
    Now my degree was in English Literature so I clearly have some work to do to get my language knowledge up to scratch, but I'm becoming concerned that I won't have the required knowledge to teach Key Stage 3/4. I can understand these more difficult concepts well enough but find it hard to express them in technical grammatical language. Do I need to be able to do this or would this sort of level of detail be only appropriate for Key Stage 5?
     
  3. Although I am a chemistry teacher I can honestly say in 6 years of teaching that I have rarely come across a 6th former with reasonable grammar so I wouldn't worry too much. Even students studying english and other 'wordy' subjects seem to be unable to spell or punctuate correctly and they regularly use double negatives, split infinitives etc. This is part of the reason I think students should study modern foreign languages as I know that is mostly where I got my knowledge of grammar from.
    Is there not a general book about teaching english which introduces the methods in their appropriate order?
     
  4. The audit is to find your gaps in subject knowledge, now you know where your gaps are you can spend the next few weeks learning it and feel confident when you start your course that you have basic knowledge and the course tutors will work on it with you in preparation for teaching. I have a friend who is starting her English GTP and her pre-course prep includes making a glossary of a whole list of these terms, so I would say yes, you do need to know them even for KS3/4.
    As trainees we are not expected to be the finished article so I'm pretty sure you won't be the only one worrying about their lack of subject knowledge. As a Primary trainee I have at least 10 subjects to learn......YAY......not! [​IMG]
     

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