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Policy and Research in Languages Education at school, including Bilingual Education and CLIL Asian and European perspectives Richard Johnstone Asia TEFL:

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Presentation on theme: "Policy and Research in Languages Education at school, including Bilingual Education and CLIL Asian and European perspectives Richard Johnstone Asia TEFL:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Policy and Research in Languages Education at school, including Bilingual Education and CLIL Asian and European perspectives Richard Johnstone Asia TEFL: Hanoi, 2010

2 OVERVIEW 1.Personal background 2.Factors affecting Languages Education at school 3.Four models of Languages Education at School 4.Some evidence from research and development 5.Some conditions for successful policy implementation 6.If there’s time: Age differences in learning an additional language 2

3 A small amount of personal background Role as Director of the national centre in Scotland means that much of my research has been ‘big picture’ policy-related. Main languages interests have been French, German, other modern European languages, plus heritage and community languages. Main activity in recent years has been research, e.g. with the British Council and different national Ministries, and research review, e.g. Annual Review for Cambridge University Press. Main personal interests have been in early language learning, bilingual education and ‘languages for all’ 3

4 Factors influencing the outcomes of Languages Education at school 4 Societal factors Provision factors Process factors Individual factors Outcomes

5 FACTORS AFFECTING LANGUAGES EDUCATION AT SCHOOL SOCIETAL FACTORS  Extent of TL exposure  Political will  Geo-cultural situation  Parental pressure  Influence of media  Public attitudes to particular groups PROVISION FACTORS PROCESS FACTORS INDIVIDUAL FACTORS 5

6 FACTORS AFFECTING LANGUAGES EDUCATION AT SCHOOL SOCIETAL FACTORS  Extent of TL exposure  Political will  Geo-cultural situation  Parental pressure  Influence of media  Public attitudes to particular groups PROVISION FACTORS  National policy, support, evaluation  Teacher supply, training & development  Research  Information  International links  Place and role in the school curriculum  Time & Intensity  Continuity primary to secondary  Networks  Appropriate materials PROCESS FACTORS INDIVIDUAL FACTORS 6

7 FACTORS AFFECTING LANGUAGES EDUCATION AT SCHOOL SOCIETAL FACTORS  Extent of TL exposure  Political will  Geo-cultural situation  Parental pressure  Influence of media  Public attitudes to particular groups PROVISION FACTORS  National policy, support, evaluation  Teacher supply, training & development  Research  Information  International links  Place and role in the school curriculum  Time & Intensity  Continuity primary to secondary  Networks  Appropriate materials PROCESS FACTORS  Understanding & expressing TL meanings (words/concepts …)  Internalising forms  Explaining  Interacting  Learning & Using Strategies  Diagnosing  Managing  Consulting  Informing INDIVIDUAL FACTORS 7

8 FACTORS AFFECTING LANGUAGES EDUCATION AT SCHOOL SOCIETAL FACTORS  Extent of TL exposure  Political will  Geo-cultural situation  Parental pressure  Influence of media  Public attitudes to particular groups PROVISION FACTORS  National policy, support, evaluation  Teacher supply, training & development  Research  Information  International links  Place and role in the school curriculum  Time & Intensity  Continuity primary to secondary  Networks  Appropriate materials PROCESS FACTORS  Understanding & expressing TL meanings (words/concepts …)  Internalising forms  Explaining  Interacting  Learning & Using Strategies  Diagnosing  Managing  Consulting  Informing INDIVIDUAL FACTORS  Age, Aptitudes & interests  Prior attainments & experience  Prior language(s)  Socio-economic status  Geographical location  Ethnicity  Gender  Attitudes & Motivation 8

9 FACTORS AFFECTING LANGUAGES EDUCATION AT SCHOOL SOCIETAL FACTORS  Extent of TL exposure  Political will  Geo-cultural situation  Parental pressure  Influence of media  Public attitudes to particular groups PROVISION FACTORS  National policy, support, evaluation  Teacher supply, training & development  Research  Information  International links  Place and role in the school curriculum  Time & Intensity  Continuity primary to secondary  Networks  Appropriate materials PROCESS FACTORS  Understanding & expressing TL meanings (words/concepts …)  Internalising forms  Explaining  Interacting  Learning & Using Strategies  Diagnosing  Managing  Consulting  Informing INDIVIDUAL FACTORS  Age, Aptitudes & interests  Prior attainments & experience  Prior language(s)  Socio-economic status  Geographical location  Ethnicity  Gender  Attitudes & Motivation 9

10 Four Models of Languages Education at school TL as Subject 2. TL as Subject Extended 3. CBLT/CLIL 4. Bilingual Education / Immersion

11 Model 1: TL as SUBJECT e.g. MLPS/FLES By far the main model in national policy development across the world – Least ambitious of the possible models, but still presents a major policy challenge Target Language (TL) is taught mainly as a subject – Usually for minutes per week. Limited in ‘time’ and ‘intensity’ – Variable starting ages Teachers often generalist and not specially trained for this – Big issues of teacher supply / training / continuing development EU outcomes, e.g. Blondin, 1999; Edelenbos et al, 2006 – Positive attitudes were widespread – But modest proficiency (much pre-fabrication of utterances) 11

12 Model 2: ML as Subject (Enhanced) CROATIA Pupils at primary school were fluent, confident, accurate & creative in their use of the Target Language – English / German / Italian /French Able to perform well in all four skills – L / S / R / W High motivation for learning and using their Target Language – Clear development in the nature of motivation from Year 1 to Year 3 Teachers also highly motivated and gaining clear job- satisfaction 12

13 Model 2: Enhanced MLPS/FLES Croatia continued Official project. Well supported by research (Djigunovich and Vilke, 2000) Time o 45 minutes per day Teacher education o Teachers trained to teach at Primary School and also trained in the Target Language (French or German or Italian or English) Class-size o per class Early Reading & Writing o Introduced almost from the start in Year 1 (aged 6) Conscious link made between first language and additional language o Key grammatical concepts learned in L1 in year 1 and then systematically transferred to learning Target Language in Years 2&3 13

14 Model 3: CBLT / CLIL Usually teaching 1 or 2 additional subjects in whole or in part through the medium of the Target Language – Increased ‘time’ and ‘intensity’ compared with Model 1 MLPS/FLES Maybe up to 20/25% of total curriculum time in any week Could begin at any age – Tends to begin mid/late primary school or in secondary school, after learners have had some experience of MLPS/FLES Attracts in interest in many countries and across EU Personally, I consider the term CLIL to be very vague – Where possible I avoid it – But the Model itself is worthy of serious consideration 14

15 Model 3: CBLT/CLIL Finland Grades 1-3 at school in Finland CLIL students (25% in EFL) compared with mainstream non- CLIL students – CLIL students language development was quicker – It was also different: After 1-word phase in Grades 1&2, suddenly full sentences in Grade 3 – Mainstream pupils progressed through multi-word fragments but failed to produce full sentences by end of Grade 5 Three years of CLIL needed (Grades 1-3) for completion of implicit TL development, leading to fine-tuning activities from Grade 4 onwards. (Järvinen, H-J., 2008)

16 MODEL 3: CBLT/CLIL Finland continued CLIL & non-CLIL pupils compared in Grades 5&6 Mathematics and L1-Finnish o Development of mother tongue not negatively affeted by learning some subject content through English o But learning in CLIL can be so challenging that the maximal outcome of content learning is not always reached. Pupils in CLIL had relatively low self concept in foreign languages o CLIL teachers should be aware of the possibility of a weak self-concept in foreign languages among CLIL pupils o Need to pay attention to giving positive feedback about the pupils’ knowledge of a foreign language (Seikkula-Leino, 2007)

17 MODEL 3: CBLT/CLIL Finland continued IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHING: The CLIL classroom environment CAN trigger natural L2 acquisition CLIL teachers need high level of L2 proficiency Importance of: o Focusing on language as well as on content o Supporting accuracy as well as fluency, and of exploring deep meaning (e.g. content-specific concepts; higher-order thinking skills). o Challenging pupils’ comprehension o Creating opportunities for pupils to produce fairly elaborate stretches of expression, not simply 1or2-word responses.

18 Model 4: Bilingual or Immersion Education Variety of types – Early/Delayed/Late Partial/Total One-way/Two-way At least 40% of curriculum time devoted to learning additional subjects through the medium of the TL Covers a range of possible aims, e.g. – Global citizenship – Economic competitiveness – National harmony – Minority first-language & culture maintenance & revitalisation 18

19 Model 4: Bilingual Education Provision factors influencing success of national BEP (Spain) An early start (from age 3 onwards) Substantial time per week for learning through English as L2: 40% Whole-school policy, avoiding emergence of monolingual sink-group Agreement with secondary schools to continue the BEP up to age 16 Strong leadership from staff in both the Ministry and British Council Development of a special BEP curriculum, conceived with collaboration of participating teachers, and endorsed by national authority. Supernumerary teachers, fluent in English, who work with mainstream teachers International examination (IGCSE) at which ultimately to aim Independent external evaluation to identify problems as well as successes. 19

20 Model 4: Bilingual Education Science at Secondary 2: National BEP (Spain) T: ‘Can you describe the smell?’ S: ‘It's repulsive and smells like rotten eggs!’ T: ‘Can you tell me something about mercury?’ S: ’It's toxic and therefore must stay sealed’ T: ‘What is the difference between a mixture and a compound?’ S: ‘A mixture can be returned to its earlier state.’ T: ‘What is the process called when we turn a solid into a gas?’ S: ‘Sublimation.’ T: ‘Who could tell me something about, for example, polonium?’ S: ‘Its symbol is Po, it is number 84 in the periodic table. Its mass is 209. It is highly radioactive…’ T: ‘Who could tell me something about uranium?’ S: ‘Uranium is very toxic (but) it is used in many production processes. Its symbol is U.’ All students showed interest and contributed something. They showed good understanding, spoke clearly with good pronunciation and were willing to listen to each other. In the open-ended situation, the stronger students showed they could reel off statements, based on their studies, consisting of up to 10 well constructed sentences in English without notes or ‘parrot’ memorisation and with little hesitation. 20

21 Model 4: Bilingual Education Good Practice: General Teaching Strategies Examples from National BEP (Spain) Keeps all pupils involved in the lesson Is firm but pleasant Uses visual aids Gives clear explanations of what pupils are to do Reviews pupil outputs with the whole class Keeps pupils’ attention focused Avoids spoon-feeding Presents tasks in a clear and interesting way Keeps a log of mistakes for subsequent comment Encourages pupils to work out their own solutions 21

22 Model 4: Bilingual Education Good Practice: Language Related Strategies Examples from National BEP (Spain) Helps pupils focus on linguistic form, function and discourse Pays due attention to accuracy Helps pupils focus on key words Helps pupils develop clear definitions Helps them describe the properties of things Helps them make contrasts, e.g. …. whereas ….. Helps them develop robust classifications Helps them develop use of the passive voice, essential for science Allows judicious use of L1-Spanish 22

23 Model 4: Bilingual Education Further examples China (Knell et al,2007) – Early partial immersion (English) – Impact on children’s Chinese character recognition USA (Thomas, Abbott & Collier,1994) – Early partial immersion (French, Spanish, Japanese) – Impact on children’s attainments in maths and English Scotland (Johnstone et al,1999) – Early total immersion in Scottish Gaelic – Impact on children’s attainments in science, maths, English

24 Variable success of Bilingual Education across the world Many successes based on research evidence. But …… In some parts of the world it has been abandoned, or considerably reduced, or has been hotly contested, or radically revised, for many reasons, e.g. o Rushing ahead too quickly before adequately staffed o Inadequate support for teachers (e.g. in L2 and in L2 teaching methodology) o Inadequate information for parents o Strong political or ideological or media opposition o Misguided assumptions about teaching and learning Others? 24

25 The nature of progression in language development Mitchell (2003) claims that second language learning is o not like climbing a ladder; but is o a complex and recursive process with multiple interconnections and backslidings, and o complex trade-offs between advances in fluency, accuracy and complexity. Pelzer-Karpf & Zangl (1997) found that children’s utterances seemed impressive in Years 1&2 o but then in Year 3 went through a phase of ‘Systemturbulenz’ in which their grammar control seemed to fall apart o when the cognitive demands of their tasks were raised to the point that temporarily their grammar-systems could not fully cope o But by Year 4 it sorted itself out. 25

26 Learning Through English: Policies, Challenges and Prospects Insights from East Asia Nilawati Hadisantosa To Thi Thu Huong Richard Johnstone Sonthida Keyuravong WonKey Lee British Council East Asia Network 26

27 The four Country Studies Not intended to provide a comprehensive or official overview of each country in turn. Each chapter written by a distinguished academic professional from the particular country, in consultation with a small number of key stakeholders. They aim to offer insight into: – The social, cultural and socio-linguistic background to the particular country – The emergence of English as major language – Past and present policies and practices for teaching English and for teaching through English – Difficulties, challenges, solutions, successes and prospects 27

28 Concluding personal thoughts arising from the East Asia study Several clear examples of good practice in policy planning and development Considerable variation across the four countries Strong emphasis on instrumental aims, e.g. economic competitiveness; career advantage Maybe a need to state the cognitive and educational benefits more clearly Importance of attaining a good Threshhold if the cognitive and educational benefits are to be realised 28

29 Concluding thoughts (continued) Issues on which policy makers might reflect Modernisation without sacrificing cultural and linguistic uniqueness Equity and Inclusion Long-term planning for sustainability Teacher supply, training and professional development Alignment of examinations with curriculum Clarity about models of Languages Education in terms of their provisions, processes and outcomes Feasibility Studies preceding Piloting preceding wider expansion Internationalisation Research-Policy Partnership 29

30 The Effects of Age Is there a ‘critical period’ for the acquisition of an additional language? Distinction between ‘naturalistic’ informal contexts and more formal ‘instructed’ contexts. H. H. Stern (1974): Each age has its own advantages and disadvantages So, what advantages do younger learner have, and what advantages do older learners have?

31 The Effects of Age: Possible Advantages by Age Younger LearnersOlder Learners Intuitive acquisition capacity as for first language More developed conceptual map of the world More attuned to the sound system of the language More aware of patterns of discourse Less ‘language anxious’ More able to draw on explicit strategies More time available overall Educational experience May have a clearer sense of purpose and wider range of possible motivation

32 References Blondin, C., Candelier, M., Edelenbos, P., Johnstone, R., Kubanek-German, A. & Taeschner, T. (1998). Foreign languages in primary and pre-school education. A review of recent research within the European Union. London: CILT Carleton Board of Education. (1994). French immersion update. Carleton Occasional papers, Series ii, Number 2. Ottowa: Carleton Board of Education. Edelenbos, P., Johnstone R. M. & Kubanek, A. (2006). The main pedagogical principles underlying the teaching of languages to very young learners. Languages for the children of Europe: Published Research, Good Practice & Main Principles. Brussels, European Commission. Genesee, F. (1987). Learning through two languages: studies of immersion and bilingual education. Cambridge MA: Newbury House. Järvinen, H-J. (2008). Research in CLIL. European Commission. Euro-clic: Bulletin 8 Johnstone, R. M., W. Harlen, M. MacNeil, R. Stradling & G. Thorpe (2000) The attainments of pupils receiving Gaelic-medium primary education in Scotland. Scottish CILT for Scottish Executive Education Department. Johnstone, R. M. (2001. Addressing 'the age factor': some implications for languages policy. Guide for the development of Language Education Policies in Europe - From Linguistic Diversity to Plurilingual Education. Strasbourg, Council of Europe Reference Study Johnstone, R. M. (2001). Immersion in a Second or Additional Language at School: evidence from international research. Report for the Scottish Executive Education Department. University of Stirling: Scottish CILT. Johnstone, R. M. & R. McKinstry (2008) Evaluation of Early partial Immersion in French at Walker Road Primary School, Aberdeen. University of Stirling: Scottish CILT. Lyster, R. (2004a). Differential effects of prompts and recasts in form-focused instruction. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 26, Knell, E., L. S.Siegel., Q. Haiyan., Z. Lun., P. Miao., Z. Wei & C. Yanping (2007). Early English literacy in Xi’an, China. The Modern Language Journal 91.iii, 395–417. Mitchell, R. (2003). Rethinking the concept of progression in the national curriculum for modern foreign languages: a research perspective. Language Learning Journal, Winter Peltzer-Karpf, A. & R. Zangl (1997). Vier Jahre Vienna Bilingual Schooling: Eine Langzeitstudie. Vienna; Bundesministerium für Unterricht und kulturelle Angelegenheiten., Abteilung 1/1. Seikkula-Leino, J. (2007). CLIL learning: Achievement levels and affective factors. Language & Education 21.4, 328–341. Serra, C. (2007). Assessing CLIL at primary school: a longitudinal study. International Journal of Bilingual Education & Bilingualism 10.5, 582–602. Thomas, W. P., V. Collier & M. Abbott (1993). Academic achievement through Japanese, Spanish or French. The first two years of partial immersion. The Modern Language Journal, 77, 2,


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