The literacy skills of secondary teaching undergraduates: Results of diagnostic testing and a discussion of findings
Edith Cowan University
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Education
The capacity of secondary school teachers to support general literacy and to teach discipline-specific literacy skills depends upon their personal literacy competence. Diagnostic testing of 203 secondary teaching undergraduates at one Australian university revealed deficiencies in personal literacy competence that could affect their future teaching effectiveness. The sample of undergraduates was tested in spelling, vocabulary, and punctuation. Analysis of the results showed high rates of error on general spelling and vocabulary tasks. The degree of error in many cases was severe. For some undergraduates, the prospect of successful remediation so late in their academic career appeared poor. It is suggested that universities need to monitor admission standards and continue to invest in ongoing remediation.