Linguistics Instruction for Teachers of English

Of particular note is the invaluable benefit that linguistics instruction has brought to the methodology of teaching a foreign language. Linguistics provides a detailed description of the language, and this allows the teacher to teach it, observing the principle of awareness. Using a number of linguistic terms, the teacher can explain certain linguistic phenomena and transfer into practice the rules and exceptions formulated by linguists. Researches show that the implementation or use of linguistics knowledge for ELs instructionally allows for achieving better and more effective results in teaching a foreign language.

Linguistics is one of the oldest sciences and, first of all, the science of language, which deals with the study of a wide range of phenomena. The methodology of teaching foreign languages is based on linguistics as one of the basic sciences. Linguistics comprehensively analyzes the concept of “language”, and for the methodology, it is the subject of teaching. Linguists study how a person learns his native language, how language knowledge is related to other cognitive processes, how it varies among different speakers and in different regions, and how it can be modeled by computational means. Scientists also study the structure of various components of language, for example, sounds and meanings, and their interaction with each other, and describe and explain the variety of language structures.

In the conditions of modern open society, the social and didactic status of a foreign language is significantly increasing. Accordingly, there are new requirements for foreign language teachers and their training system. Literacy becomes one of the focal points of teaching (Moats, 2000). Rules play an essential role in the formation of mechanisms for the lexical design of an utterance, the complexity of the problem of which requires consideration of such factors as the legality of the allocation of lexical rules, their content, and organization in training.

The linguistic content of teaching a foreign language is realized in the aspects of language; phonetics, vocabulary, grammar, graphics, and spelling. Furthermore, sentence models, structures, and genres of speech are part of its functional styles. Bunch (2013) mentions that “efforts to prepare teachers for working with English learners to engage with increasing language and literacy expectations across the curriculum requires the development of pedagogical language knowledge” (p. 298). Teachers should purposefully use the possibilities of linguistic knowledge for the development of language and literacy directly in the curricula.

The formation of linguistic competence in the preparation of future specialists in teaching English to English learners is an essential aspect of training. Russell (2015) instructional coaches are often found in subject areas like mathematics and literacy, but there are few of them in EL-focused instructional coaching, especially for novice teachers. Teachers must know how to meet English learners’ language needs related to oral language proficiency, literacy development, and content-area knowledge (de Oliveira & Shoffner, 2009). They also need to take cultural needs into account regarding classroom norms and expectations and be responsible for English learners’ educational success.

The linguistic foundations of the methodology of teaching foreign languages are understood as language and speech material, selected in a certain way, and methodically organized. This happens in accordance with the principles of the chosen method, the purpose of teaching, and the intra-linguistic patterns of the language being studied, as well as taking into account the possible difficulties of its assimilation by this language audience of students. Teacher candidates must develop sociolinguistic consciousness, value for linguistic diversity, and the inclination to support English learners (Lucas & Villegas, 2013). This includes considering their beliefs and values associated with language and linguistic diversity, which are mainly undiscussed.

The development of models in linguistics is of great importance for the methodology of teaching and implementation of linguistic instructions for English languages. Statistical models help to find out the features of texts, determine the set of language tools necessary for mastering reading, and establish acceptable norms of unfamiliar material in texts. Basic models are significant for the methodology of teaching foreign languages since a large number of real-life sentences can be derived from them. These are abstractions that characterize finite structures at the sentence level.

Studies emphasize that one of the approaches to improving the results for students learning English using the field of linguistics by teachers is the reform of the entire school. It should include innovative approaches to the curriculum, assessment, student support, professional development, and other elements (CalderĂłn et al., 2011). SFA program is considered to be well-structured curriculum materials emphasizing cooperative and direct instruction in comprehension and vocabulary skills for all ages.

Many novice teachers struggle with having efficient lessons with English learners due to the lack of knowledge. They indicated that their exposure to lesson planning in college was artificial and minimally functional (Chesley & Jordan, 2012). Lack of knowledge to do short-term and long-term planning in real classrooms. The solution to this problem can be high-quality training and introduction programs. Teachers should be given the opportunity to work together with master teachers on the planning of training.

The central part of the information received by a person in the learning process is perceived through vision. Language material is no exception since visual means become visual and semantic support for the introduction, activation, and consolidation of linguistic knowledge, being a link between the semantic and sound sides. The explanation of the new material should be based on the visual aspect of the training and on the support in the form of tables, drawings, graphs, photos, and presentations.

A remarkable influence on the assimilation of educational material in a foreign language is exerted by the model of analysis of semantic features to improve students’ academic performance in the field of writing and translation. Mantasiah highlights that “it is important to train students to acquire necessary linguistic skills, as intrinsically linguistics aspect cannot be separated in language teaching” (2020, p. 186). Thus, the SFA model can be used as one of the most influential models in learning and writing foreign languages.

In addition, the development of science in modern society allows studying a foreign language at an entirely different level using information technologies. The inclusion of cross-cultural language and academic development in courses in specific subjects with the help of specially designed tasks can improve the ability of teachers to identify linguistic factors in literacy training and determine appropriate strategies for educational intervention. Moreover, the development of pedagogical education today is associated with the potential of the latest teaching tools, and one of the most important conditions for improving the quality of vocational education is its informatization. An electronic or linguistic corpus can be considered a necessary component of the information and communication environment when teaching a foreign language.

Nowadays, it is not enough for a teacher to be only a user; it is necessary to talk about improving the competence of a teacher in the field of ICT, which is his professional characteristic, a component of pedagogical skill. The methodological apparatus of corpus linguistics is a promising tool in the theoretical and practical teaching of a foreign language. Corpus linguistics is a branch of computational linguistics that deals with the development of general principles for the construction and use of linguistic corpora using computer technologies (Stefanowitsch, 2020). Thus, the student’s work becomes more motivated if both the text and the illustration to it exist in the same visual field, which creates a single information field of the studied material.

Teaching linguistics is of great importance in the training of teachers for English language learners. To achieve the best results, it is necessary to introduce and use teacher training programs and courses on methods of learning English. This is due to the fact that often novice specialists who are starting work face organizational problems in the learning process. Thus, the use of modern techniques in teaching foreign languages encourages creative search not only for students studying languages but also for teachers, and in general, ensures the achievement of the main goal – obtaining solid knowledge in the field of language communication.


Bunch, G. (2013). Pedagogical language knowledge: Preparing mainstream teachers for English learners in the new standards era. Review of Research in Education, 37(1), 298-341. Web.

Calderón, M., Slavin, R., & Sánchez, M. (2011). Effective instruction for English learners. Future Child, 21(1), 103-127. Web.

de Oliveira, L.C., & Shoffner, M. (2009). Addressing the needs of English language learners in an English education methods course. English Education, 42(1), 91-111. Web.

Lucas, T., & Villegas, A.M. (2013). Preparing linguistically responsive teachers: Laying the foundation in preservice teacher education. Theory Into Practice, 52(2), 98-109. Web.

Mantasiah, R. (2020). Semantic feature analysis model: Linguistics approach in foreign language learning material development. International Journal of Instruction, 13(1), 185-196.

Moats, L.C. (2000). Speech to print: Language essentials for teachers. Paul H. Brookes Pub.

Mora, J.K., & Grisham, D.L. (2001). Preparing teachers for literacy instruction in linguistically diverse classrooms. Teacher Education Quarterly, 28(4), 51-70.

Russell, F.A. (2015). Learning to teach English learners: Instructional coaching and developing novice high school teacher capacity. Teacher Education Quarterly, 42(1), 27-47.

Stefanowitsch, A. (2020). Corpus linguistics: A guide to the methodology. Language Science Press.

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ChalkyPapers. "Linguistics Instruction for Teachers of English." September 28, 2023.