This paper describes teacher educators’ understanding of language for classroom communication in higher education. We argue that teacher educators who are aware of their personal practical knowledge of language have a better understanding of their students’ language use and provide better support for knowledge construction. Personal practical knowledge originates from teachers’ professional practice and is based on their past experience, current awareness and future expectation. Data from focus group interviews with teacher educators (N = 35) were used for content analysis. Findings demonstrate an emerging conceptualization resulting in two language modalities of personal practical knowledge, speci ed as: ‘language-sensitive and interpersonally oriented’ and ‘language-focused and pedagogically oriented.’The insights contribute to building a professional practical knowledge base of language and communication-oriented teaching.