ESP university teacher’s pedagogical content knowledge: retrospective perceptions of professional beginnings

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The paper deals with subjectively perceived changes in teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge from their retrospective view of the first three years of teaching English for Specific Purposes at universities. In the Czech Republic, English for Specific Purposes teachers go through a rather difficult period during the first years of their working experience at universities because within their higher education they have been prepared for teaching English for General Purposes at secondary schools. Therefore, their previous education has not provided them with various kinds of knowledge they could use for forming their pedagogical content knowledge, which is particularly knowledge of university didactics, knowledge of English for Specific Purposes, and knowledge of students’ specialization (e.g. medicine, engineering, law).
Firstly, the key concepts, such as English for Specific Purposes, university novices and pedagogical content knowledge, are explained. Then, the paper introduces the mixed research design methodology. During the first, qualitative phase an individual interview on the topic of the first three years of teaching English for Specific Purposes at universities was carried out with several respondents. The obtained data were analysed by thematic coding. In the following quantitative phase, an anonymous questionnaire was created on the basis of these results and sent to the whole population of English for Specific Purposes university teachers in the Czech Republic. Subsequently, the obtained data were processed statistically. The last part of the paper deals with the research results which are based on the individual components of pedagogical content knowledge – conceptions of purposes for teaching subject matter, curricular knowledge, knowledge of instructional strategies, and knowledge of students’ understanding. Finally, theoretical and practical use of the obtained data is mentioned.

Klíčová slova
English for Specific Purposes
pedagogical content knowledge
professional growth
novice teacher
university teacher