This study investigates the challenges that non-native pre-service English teachers (Haluk, Gaye, Selin, Oznur and Serkan) experience in their target language use when they do their practicum in actual language classrooms. This study found that the common difficulties the student teachers encounter related to certain grammatical structures, explaining unknown words to students, modifying language according to students' level, and authenticity of the classroom language. During this study, the target language awareness training session was offered by the university supervisor in order to improve the student teachers' target language use in the classroom. The training sessions included classroom observations, feedback sessions, semi-structured interviews, retrospective protocols and discussion meetings with the student teachers. The findings indicated that the language awareness training had a positive impact on the target language use of the pre-service English teachers. Furthermore, this study discusses the curriculum and the requirements of the language teacher education programme in an EFL setting and makes suggestions for the professional development of non-native pre-service language teachers.