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Eva Duran Eppler Grammar teaching across the curriculum (English & MFL)

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1 Eva Duran Eppler Grammar teaching across the curriculum (English & MFL)

2 Aims The aim of the workshop is to explore effective and cumulative ways of cross- linguistic and cross-subject grammar teaching, i.e. explore ways of building on pupils first and additional languages to raise their metalinguistic awareness of how languages work, and how this can be utilised in the learning and teaching of the structures of English and foreign languages.

3 Historical background The idea is not new 1970s initiative by George Perren, former Director of CILT, to bridge the “space between” modern language and English teachers. 1999 QCA joint conference on Grammar for foreign language and English 1999-2001 CILT/QCA Modern Foreign Languages and Literacy at KS 2 and 3

4 Background Research Research findings indicate that (early) bilingualism can have clear cognitive and academic advantages: attentional and executive control, problem-solving skills, metalinguistic awareness and working memory, cognitive flexibility and linguistic creativity, (Bialystok 2001-2011, Cummins 1979, Lauchlan et al. 2012, Meisel 2006, Paradis 2004). For a nice summary see bilingualism.html?_r=0 bilingualism.html?_r=0

5 Background NC English changes to the NC for England in terms of grammar teaching (Key Stages 3-5) From September 2014 all pupils attending a UK school (> Key Stages 3-5) are required to acquire ‘an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language’ This proposal will be extended to Key Stages 1- 2 in the following years. the introduction of compulsory foreign language teaching in primary schools from Key Stage 2 onwards pose a considerable challenge for both teachers and pupils. Is this true?

6 Background NC MFL the introduction of compulsory foreign language teaching from Key Stage 2 onwards at Key Stage 2 from the same date. In foreign languages pupils should be taught to understand basic [?] grammar appropriate to the language being studied, such as (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.

7 Background There is wide-spread concern among practitioners 1, advisors/consultants 2, politicians 3, journalists 4 and educators 5 that school teachers (newly qualified or already in post) possess, or acquire, the requisite competence in vocabulary/lexicology, semantics, and grammar to teach the English language and other languages as the subjects are prescribed in the national curriculum (Lord Quirk, Citation: HL Deb, 24 April 2013, c427W).

8 Teachers & Learners Many teachers have received limited linguistic training (Hudson and Walmsley 2005: 616), or have little confidence in their knowledge (possibly because they have acquired it in an unsystematic way (Cajkler & Hislam 2002). Pupils also have difficulties with learning complex grammatical concepts (ibid.) Do they?

9 Activity 1 Paul Flynn (MP Newprot West) (Lab) Does the minister [E.Truss, Education] agree that the most futile and ineffective way to teach a language is through grammar? It is like suggesting that someone should not learn to drive a car until they first learn to dismantle the engine.

10 Activity 1 Paul Flynn (MP Newprot West) (Lab) cont The UK has an atrocious record on teaching languages to fluency, … No one who is interested in or knowledgeable about teaching language would dare to try to do it through grammar, which is a major obstacle to fluency, not a pathway.

11 Activity 1 Elizabeth Truss (Parliamentary under- Secretary of State for Education) Learning the grammar of a language is part and parcel of learning that language. One of the things that this government are trying to do is introducing a spelling, grammar and punctuation test …, so that students learn the language of English grammar before they learn the grammar of another language.

12 Activity 1 Elizabeth Truss (Parliamentary under- Secretary of State for Education) I remember when I was at school, I learnt the grammar of foreign languages before I learned the grammar of my own language, and I think this was a problem. (Seventh Delegate Legislation Committee, Draft Education, Amendment of the Curriculum Requirements for Second Key Stage, England, 19/06/13)

13 Activity 1 1.Do you agree with Paul Flynn that the most futile and ineffective way to teach a language is through grammar? 2. Do you agree with Elizabeth Truss that L1/English [?] grammar should be covered before the grammar of foreign languages?

14 CILT/QCA MFL & Literacy Project (1999-2001) Wootton Bassett School, Swindon, K. Eames RQ 1. How can I improve my Y9 pupils' metacognitive understanding of sentence- level grammar by making use of the knowledge they have developed in MFL? ‘My original question was revealed by the questionnaire to be wildly over-optimistic, so I settled in reality for trying to develop pupils’ awareness of linguistic terminology’

15 Some findings from the CILT/QCA MFL & Literacy Project (1999-2001) Wootton Bassett School, Swindon, K. Eames ‘Regarding my intention to make use of the grammatical knowledge pupils had gained through MFL lessons, I was originally surprised by the lack of recognition they claimed for terms which might be used in their French or German lessons, but discussion with MFL teachers pointed out to me that the concepts were used, but were not necessarily described using grammatical terms.’

16 Results after one year of frequent low-level references to linguistic features in lessons There (Y9) was an increase in the recognition of grammatical terms [Noun, Adjective, Verb, Adverb, Preposition, Article, Pronoun, Conjunction; Tenses, Phrase, Clause types; Subject, Object, Adverbial] acknowledgement of clause features [main/ subordinate clause, conjunction] confidence in pupils’ capacity to identify terms in context BUT pupils are slightly more likely to make inaccurate identifications of features.


18 Where to go from here Hudson's (2000) survey of the research evidence for the claim that teaching grammar can improve writing suggests that pupils who have 'mastered parts of speech [word classes] 1 and are able to distinguish between subordinate and principal [dependent and main] clauses' attained better results in writing than those who 'had not learned to analyse sentences'  need for continuous reference to grammatical features, spread over many years, develops familiarity with those features 1)

19 CILT/QCA MFL & Literacy Project (1999-2001) Wootton Bassett School, Swindon, K. Eames RQ 2. How can I help develop understanding between English and MFL in order to make use of the ways in which we both use grammatical terminology at sentence level? What specific grammatical terms get taught, and when do they get taught, in both subject areas [Englsih + MFL]?

20 Findings It is not easy to map what grammatical features are taught when in MFL;  English teachers should be providing the MFL department with accounts of what we are doing, so that they can make use of it in discussions with pupils, and in mapping what gets covered when.

21 Findings Are there any common examples we could refer to in both MFL and English, to illustrate points of grammar or terminology for pupils? Verbs – MFL teachers teach tenses very effectively, pupils seem to have retained this learning confidently in their English lessons.

22 Findings Nouns - ways of modifying nouns is one of the characteristics of highly valued writing at KS 3 and GCSE. Adjectives - developing an understanding of what an adjective is, where it appears, and how its morphology differs between MFL and English sentence level focus - sentence combining seems to produce an overwhelmingly positive … (gain) in syntactic maturity' (Hudson 2000) What else?

23 Activity 2 A. Which of the following sentences would your English teacher mark in red? And how? How would you correct the mistake? 1. The lemon ice cream taste awful. 2. I like strawberry ice cream. 3. He like mango ice cream. B. How would a French/Spanish/German person say sentence 3 (correctly) in his/her language? C. Now try to make the same mistake the speaker of English makes in sentences 1 and 3 in French/Spanish/German

24 What a French teacher friend of mine [AB Estevez] thinks… Re A. Sentence 1 and 3 would be corrected with verb agreement. It is KS3. The verb ending would be underline in red with word verb. The student then has to correct the missing 3 rd person sg. Agreement marker –s on the verb in green pen.

25 What a French teacher friend of mine (AB Estevez) said… Re B. Sentence 3 would be : Il aime la glace a la mangue. An English speaker might make mistake with word order i.e. mangue glace. As for the verb, English students might use the infinitive form for verb such as: Il aimer mangue glace. In Spanish mistakes would be similar

26 Activity 2 With a colleague who teaches English, if you are an MFL teacher With a colleague who teaches a MFL, if you are an English teacher Select a grammatical feature English and the MFL you teach share Construct an cross-linguistic and cross- subject activity illustrating this point Indicate the KS you think the activity would be suitable for

27 What else is going on in this direction at home and broad Language Awareness BSL Language Awareness Tasks Linguistics Association of Great Britain Education Committee (LAGB EC) Learning and teaching grammar across the curriculum (English and Foreign Languages) (4 Sept 2014, Oxford)

28 European Center for Modern Languages Graz, Austria Cultural awareness and language awareness based on dialogic interaction with texts in foreign language learning (2001) The introduction of language awareness into the curriculum (2000-2003)

29 Denmark Fra: Johannes Wagner [] Sendt: 26. maj 2014 15:07 Emne: Re: L1 & MFL grammar teaching overseas I remember something called ¹tværfaglig grammatik¹ (interdisciplinary grammar) from the 90ies? where people attempted to integrate the teaching of grammar across several modern languages. Mainly in primary school (1-10) and the gymnasium (11->). I think that faded quite soon. Nowadays students in the first grade of the gymnasium follow a course for half a year which is called Œsproglig bevidsthed¹(linguistic awareness) which was intended to allow crosslinguistic grammar... --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: Karen Sonne Jakobsen [] Sent: 26 May 2014 14:47 Subject: SV: L1 & MFL grammar teaching overseas After the reform of the Danish gymnasium in 2005, "Almen sprogforståelse" ("general language knowledge" according to van Liers conceptualization) is part of the curriculum for all first year students prior to their choice of foreign languages (two FLs are compulsory, the first one being English). The programme includes [general] grammar and also some Latin [on-line morphology] besides other linguistic topics [grammar encyclopaedia, Danish morphology & syntax, an introduction to language studies, methods for language studies; genres, style and rhetoric; comma rules; exercises; English grammar

30 Denmark Almen Sprogforståelse aims to give students a general knowledge of grammar, i.e. the members of a sentence (function) and the word classes (material) and elementary syntax. Among other things the students learn to use the same Latin terms in the teaching of Danish and the foreign languages. (A. Heltoft)

31 References Hudson, R. (2000) 'Grammar Teaching and Writing Skills: The Research Evidence‘ Cross Linguistic Approaches to Language Learning

32 Any…

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