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Modern Languages in the Primary School (MLPS): Some Key Messages Dr. Daniel Tierney University of Strathclyde

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Presentation on theme: "Modern Languages in the Primary School (MLPS): Some Key Messages Dr. Daniel Tierney University of Strathclyde"— Presentation transcript:

1 Modern Languages in the Primary School (MLPS): Some Key Messages Dr. Daniel Tierney University of Strathclyde

2 Gracias y Enhorabuena Observation in 150 classesObservation in 150 classes 974 pupil questionnaires974 pupil questionnaires 48 teacher interviews48 teacher interviews MLPS teachers have reached a good level of linguistic competenceMLPS teachers have reached a good level of linguistic competence MLPS teachers have a good understanding of pedagogyMLPS teachers have a good understanding of pedagogy MLPS teachers have provided a positive learning experience for their pupilsMLPS teachers have provided a positive learning experience for their pupils What are the key messages ?What are the key messages ?

3 What do P6 pupils think overall ? Primary 6 (aged 9 -10) (n = 468).Primary 6 (aged 9 -10) (n = 468). Primary 7 (aged 10-11) (n = 506).Primary 7 (aged 10-11) (n = 506). Attitudinal survey (4 point Likert scale).Attitudinal survey (4 point Likert scale). 66% of boys and 81.7% of girls quite liked or liked learning a language a lot.66% of boys and 81.7% of girls quite liked or liked learning a language a lot. A Mann-Whitney U test (U = ,A Mann-Whitney U test (U = , p = 0.000) showed that girls (mean =3.23) were significantly more positive than boys (2.80). p = 0.000) showed that girls (mean =3.23) were significantly more positive than boys (2.80). 26% of girls rated it as their favourite subject while 14% of boys rated it so.26% of girls rated it as their favourite subject while 14% of boys rated it so.

4 What do P6 pupils think overall ? “I like learning French because it’s fun and learning songs and games can be really exciting.”“I like learning French because it’s fun and learning songs and games can be really exciting.” “I think learning French is fun because we play games and sing songs.”“I think learning French is fun because we play games and sing songs.” “French has to be my favourite subject. In the house I always read books about it. I can’t get enough of it.”“French has to be my favourite subject. In the house I always read books about it. I can’t get enough of it.” “I am enjoying learning French because of the way it is taught.”“I am enjoying learning French because of the way it is taught.” “I like French as it is fun and we get a chance to have a different teacher.” “I like French as it is fun and we get a chance to have a different teacher.” “I enjoy French and I like Mrs McF better than Miss N. French rules!”“I enjoy French and I like Mrs McF better than Miss N. French rules!”

5 What do the P6 pupils think overall ? “If you go to France you will know the language they speak.”“If you go to France you will know the language they speak.” “I think learning French is a very good experience because if anyone of us meet a French person then we will be able to speak to them.”“I think learning French is a very good experience because if anyone of us meet a French person then we will be able to speak to them.” “French is good because if you go to France you can talk to people.”“French is good because if you go to France you can talk to people.” “I like speaking in French because I have always wanted to learn a language any language. And I think it will be useful in France or a different country who speak French.”“I like speaking in French because I have always wanted to learn a language any language. And I think it will be useful in France or a different country who speak French.” “I think speaking French is great because I have relatives in France and I go there a lot so I can cooperate with people.”“I think speaking French is great because I have relatives in France and I go there a lot so I can cooperate with people.” “I think it is quite handy, especially for me because I go to France every summer and now I’ll be able to speak to them.”“I think it is quite handy, especially for me because I go to France every summer and now I’ll be able to speak to them.” “It’s good because if you go to France you can make friends and talk to them.”“It’s good because if you go to France you can make friends and talk to them.” “I like doing French because you learn things and you do it in high school.”“I like doing French because you learn things and you do it in high school.”

6 What do the P7 pupils think overall ? 56.7% of P7 boys either quite liked or liked learning a language a lot.56.7% of P7 boys either quite liked or liked learning a language a lot. 66.2% of P7 girls were positive about this experience.66.2% of P7 girls were positive about this experience. A Mann-Whitney U test (U , p=0.008) showed that girls (mean = 2.89) were significantly more positive than boysA Mann-Whitney U test (U , p=0.008) showed that girls (mean = 2.89) were significantly more positive than boys (mean = 2.66). (mean = 2.66). 10.5% of boys and 15.5% of girls considered it to be their favourite subject.10.5% of boys and 15.5% of girls considered it to be their favourite subject.

7 What do the P7 pupils think overall ? “I love learning French because I love to learn foreign languages.”“I love learning French because I love to learn foreign languages.” “I like French because it gets you out of doing work.” “I like French because it gets you out of doing work.” “I think learning French will be helpful to us, because a lot of us go to France, and then we can communicate in and make friends.”“I think learning French will be helpful to us, because a lot of us go to France, and then we can communicate in and make friends.” “I think French in primary school is good because it prepares us for High School.”“I think French in primary school is good because it prepares us for High School.” “French is very good as it can help you in jobs when you need to have foreign languages.”“French is very good as it can help you in jobs when you need to have foreign languages.” “It’s great. You may need it on holiday or if you get a job there.”“It’s great. You may need it on holiday or if you get a job there.” “I think learning French is good because most countrys in Europe learn English and we should learn another countrys language.”“I think learning French is good because most countrys in Europe learn English and we should learn another countrys language.” “It’s fun and I like it because it’s like going back to P1 but in another language so it’s harder. It’s fun because you don’t always sit at your seat.”“It’s fun and I like it because it’s like going back to P1 but in another language so it’s harder. It’s fun because you don’t always sit at your seat.” “I’m not really sure why we need to do French as most people are not going to really use it unless they go to France a lot. I’ve never been to France and probably won’t.”“I’m not really sure why we need to do French as most people are not going to really use it unless they go to France a lot. I’ve never been to France and probably won’t.” “I think French is a little dumb because I never go to France. I go to Spain and Italy.”“I think French is a little dumb because I never go to France. I go to Spain and Italy.”

8 Perception of Difficulty “It is sometimes hard to understand French people because they have a different accent.”“It is sometimes hard to understand French people because they have a different accent.” “Reading is hard because they spell and pronounce different.” “Reading is hard because they spell and pronounce different.” “It is quite hard because you sometimes have to put in accents.” “It is quite hard because you sometimes have to put in accents.” “Some French words have silent letters so they are quite hard how to read.”“Some French words have silent letters so they are quite hard how to read.” “I think speaking is quite hard because you do not know how to pronounce it.”“I think speaking is quite hard because you do not know how to pronounce it.” “I think listening to French is hard because people speak in French so fast that it is hard to understand.”“I think listening to French is hard because people speak in French so fast that it is hard to understand.” “I don’t like reading in French because the words are so different and there are weird symbols.”“I don’t like reading in French because the words are so different and there are weird symbols.” “I think speaking French is quite hard because once you know it when you go back to it you forget so you have to have it written down on paper to remember.”“I think speaking French is quite hard because once you know it when you go back to it you forget so you have to have it written down on paper to remember.”

9 Reasons for learning a language i. Family and Friendsi. Family and Friends “Because my Auntie is Dutch and I would like to speak to her like that.”“Because my Auntie is Dutch and I would like to speak to her like that.” “Because my best friend …… comes from Iraq.”“Because my best friend …… comes from Iraq.” “I would like to learn Italian because my brother knows it and it’s funny.”“I would like to learn Italian because my brother knows it and it’s funny.” “Because my family are Italian.” “Because my family are Italian.” “Because my auntie and cousins moved to France.”“Because my auntie and cousins moved to France.” “All my cousins speak German so I could talk with them secretly.” “All my cousins speak German so I could talk with them secretly.” “I would like to learn Gaelic because lots of my family know it and I usually go to Ireland for my holidays.”“I would like to learn Gaelic because lots of my family know it and I usually go to Ireland for my holidays.” ii. Holidaysii. Holidays “I always mostly go there for my holidays and girls come up to me talking Spanish and I would like to speak back to them.” “I always mostly go there for my holidays and girls come up to me talking Spanish and I would like to speak back to them.” “I often go to Spain or Spanish islands for my holiday.” “I often go to Spain or Spanish islands for my holiday.” “I mainly go to Spain and would be able to speak to people.”“I mainly go to Spain and would be able to speak to people.” iii. Futureiii. Future “Because when I am older I want to go and stay in Germany.”“Because when I am older I want to go and stay in Germany.” “When I am older I am going to France.”“When I am older I am going to France.” “I would like to go to Italy.”“I would like to go to Italy.” “Because I am going to go to Spain when I get older.”“Because I am going to go to Spain when I get older.”

10 What do the P6 pupils think of Speaking? Boys (n = 259) Girls (n = 209) Answering the teacher’s questions45.6%61.7%Answering the teacher’s questions45.6%61.7% Speaking with a partner69.5%77.9%Speaking with a partner69.5%77.9% Speaking when you play a game79.1%79.1%Speaking when you play a game79.1%79.1% Repeating as a whole class53.1%68.3%Repeating as a whole class53.1%68.3% Repeating something by yourself37.1%38.3%Repeating something by yourself37.1%38.3% Singing songs60.4%81.8%Singing songs60.4%81.8% “When I speak on my own I just go blank.”“When I speak on my own I just go blank.” “When we have to say French I think oh no.”“When we have to say French I think oh no.” “I think it is embarrassing having to speak in front of the class.”“I think it is embarrassing having to speak in front of the class.” “I don’t particularly like speaking because I am a bit shy and I just don’t like it.”“I don’t particularly like speaking because I am a bit shy and I just don’t like it.” “I quite like speaking in French but when you have to say something in French out loud everybody laughs. I do not like speaking out loud ourself.”“I quite like speaking in French but when you have to say something in French out loud everybody laughs. I do not like speaking out loud ourself.”

11 What do the P6 pupils think of Listening ? “I think that when you are listening to play games you learn more because you are having fun.”“I think that when you are listening to play games you learn more because you are having fun.” “I like playing a lot of French games because they help me a lot with my French.”“I like playing a lot of French games because they help me a lot with my French.” “I don’t like listening in French because I get mickst up. I only like it when it is a game.”“I don’t like listening in French because I get mickst up. I only like it when it is a game.” “Listening is a good way to learn but is too boring unless it’s a game or something.”“Listening is a good way to learn but is too boring unless it’s a game or something.” “I don’t really like listening to the cassette but I like listening to play games.”“I don’t really like listening to the cassette but I like listening to play games.”

12 What do the P6 pupils think of Reading ? “It’s nice to see the words in French that way you know how to spell them.”“It’s nice to see the words in French that way you know how to spell them.” “to see the spelling written down sometimes helps with learning how to pronounce the words.”“to see the spelling written down sometimes helps with learning how to pronounce the words.” “I think it is good because it helps you to spell French words.”“I think it is good because it helps you to spell French words.” “Hard because they spell and pronounce different; some French words have silent letters so they are quite hard to read: sometimes reading is hard because the word written down looks much different from the way you say it.”“Hard because they spell and pronounce different; some French words have silent letters so they are quite hard to read: sometimes reading is hard because the word written down looks much different from the way you say it.” “I don’t really like reading French because the words are so different and there are weird symbols; it’s quite hard to read French and pronounce the words.”“I don’t really like reading French because the words are so different and there are weird symbols; it’s quite hard to read French and pronounce the words.” “I think reading French is quite difficult because they aren’t spelt like you think.”“I think reading French is quite difficult because they aren’t spelt like you think.”

13 What do the P6 pupils think of Writing? “I enjoy writing because all the words are spelt different than they sound.”“I enjoy writing because all the words are spelt different than they sound.” “Writing is fun because there are all these different marks you have to learn.”“Writing is fun because there are all these different marks you have to learn.” “I like writing because it is fun and you get a stamper with a star on it.”“I like writing because it is fun and you get a stamper with a star on it.” “I like writing because it helps me with spelling and reminds me of questions and answers.”“I like writing because it helps me with spelling and reminds me of questions and answers.” “I think writing is the best part of French because it helps you learn and spell the words in French.”“I think writing is the best part of French because it helps you learn and spell the words in French.” “I think writing French makes me more independent about writing a sentence in French.”“I think writing French makes me more independent about writing a sentence in French.” “Writing in French is very hard to write as you have to remember all these ‘apostraves’ and ‘graves”.“Writing in French is very hard to write as you have to remember all these ‘apostraves’ and ‘graves”. “All the spellings are funny so it is quite hard to write words in French.” “All the spellings are funny so it is quite hard to write words in French.” “I think that when you writ down answers it is hard because the spelling and punctuation marks are difficult because we don’t really know how to spell them or where to put the punctuation marks.”“I think that when you writ down answers it is hard because the spelling and punctuation marks are difficult because we don’t really know how to spell them or where to put the punctuation marks.” “It’s boring and your hand get’s sore.”“It’s boring and your hand get’s sore.”

14 Key messages from the teachers interviews The Variation in AimsThe Variation in Aims The Variation in TimeThe Variation in Time All 4 Skill AreasAll 4 Skill Areas Over anxious to assess speakingOver anxious to assess speaking Variation on soundsVariation on sounds Variation re error toleranceVariation re error tolerance Variation re Knowledge about LanguageVariation re Knowledge about Language Variation re Coping StrategiesVariation re Coping Strategies Variation re Extending LanguageVariation re Extending Language MLPS – a special case ?MLPS – a special case ? Continuity to SecondaryContinuity to Secondary


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