Language proficiency requires the mastery of four language skills such as listening reading, speaking and writing, but in addition to these language skills, vocabulary holds a distinct place in attaining communicative competence. The purpose of the presents study is to investigate the reflection of the fourth year Pre-service English Teachers’ word knowledge on their academic writing. The study was conducted at the Department of English Language Teacher Education of a state university in Turkey. The participants are 10 pre-service teachers whose essay papers were randomly chosen among fourth –year Pre-service English teachers. In order to measure word knowledge of the participants in their academic writing VocabProfile (Laufer&Nation, 1995) which enables the data obtained to evaluate quantitatively was used. The analyses showed that the students mostly used different words (word range) and lexical density varies between 45% and 55%. Moreover, it is also observed that preservice English teachers mostly used words in the first 1,000 band (K1). The percentages range from 80 % and 89 %. It is seen that the students included in the study showed the similar results. However, when it comes to the using words that are included in 1001-2000 bands, only a few used them in their writings. Academic vocabulary is another dimension which was evaluated in this study. According to the results, seven out of ten students used nearly 10 % of the words from off-list words (out of 2,000 words).
Key words: Language teacher education, Pre-service English teachers, teaching academic writing, Word knowledge, Lexical Frequency Profile