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IATEFL Glasgow 2012 Global Issues in Primary ELT Gail Ellis, Adviser Young Learners & Quality John Knagg, Head Research & Consultancy.

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Presentation on theme: "IATEFL Glasgow 2012 Global Issues in Primary ELT Gail Ellis, Adviser Young Learners & Quality John Knagg, Head Research & Consultancy."— Presentation transcript:

1 IATEFL Glasgow 2012 Global Issues in Primary ELT Gail Ellis, Adviser Young Learners & Quality John Knagg, Head Research & Consultancy

2 British Council supported research

3 Your issues in Global Primary ELT What are the issues you think need to be addressed to improve Global Primary English language teaching?

4 Our Top Ten Issues in Global Primary ELT 1. Size and growth of PELT sector 2. Variation in teacher profiles 3. Quality teacher education 4. English: subject vs medium of instruction 5. Classroom methodologies 6. Materials and resources 7. Continuity and transition across school phases 8. Evidence for success 9. Out-of-school factors 10. Formal research

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6 1. Theres a lot (more) of it about million primary learners of English ? 6 million primary teachers of English ? Politicians and parents the world over are today deciding that an early start to FLL in schools will make all the difference for the economic futures of their children… Yet, to what extent we can be sure that an early start will really achieve greater long term rewards is still uncertain. (Enever 2011)

7 Start of EnglishNo Countries Year One22 Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, India Goa, Greece, Hong Kong, India Tamil Nadu, Italy, Namibia, North Cyprus, Palestine, Poland, Qatar, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Spain, Sweden Year Two6 France, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Russia, Uzbekistan, Zambia Year Three9 Armenia, Czech Republic, Germany, Kosovo, Latvia, Taiwan (big cities), Uganda, Turkey, Sri Lanka Year Four3 Israel, Denmark, Argentina Year Five2 Brazil, Japan, Taiwan (most cities) After Year Five6 Algeria, Colombia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Yemen Not compulsory but often taught 13 Mexico, Lithuania, Serbia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland. In Brazil in Year 5 (age 10/11) one FL must be offered (usually English). Japan A rough guide to current starts for English in different countries (Rixon 2012)

8 1. Theres a lot (more) of it about Policy trends in PELT Main global policy changes over the past 10 years making English compulsory at primary level further lowering the age at which it is introduced at primary changes in assessment introducing specific means of assessment (eg portfolio assessment Cyprus, national examinations Bahrain) closer definition of standards to be achieved (Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Latvia, Sweden). (Rixon forthcoming)

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10 2. Who are the teachers ? Do you agree or disagree? Teachers seem to be the single most powerful influence on students learning (Hattie quoted in the ELLiE study by Elsa Tragant Mestres and Gun Lundberg in their chapter on the teachers role) the quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers (European research concerning the effectiveness of schools OECD 2007)

11 11 Quality of teachers is a key differentiator for parents I send my child to the British Council for English classes for the following reasons. Please identify the top three most important reasons.

12 2. Who are the teachers ?

13 General teachers Specialist teachers Semi-specialist teachers Unqualified teachers

14 2. Who are the teachers ? A happy class in Uganda

15 2. Who are the teachers ? Retaining good teachers – recommendations: Improving conditions for learning Offering promotion opportunities Improving teacher satisfaction Providing good quality training and professional development opportunities

16 2. Who are the teachers ? The research shows there is great variety amongst teachers of English to children. They have entered the profession with different qualifications specialisms training previous teaching experiences Consequently children will receive language learning experiences of varying types and quality.

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18 3. We need better teacher education Common misconceptions related to teaching English to children: Teaching English is a straightforward process that can be undertaken by anyone with a basic training in ELT (or not) The language taught to children only needs to be simple as cognitively they are not as developed as adult or teenage learners. Lynne Cameron (2001) the necessity of specific pre-service training for primary school teachers of English and ongoing professional development

19 3. We need better teacher education A teacher of a foreign language to children needs to have the knowledge, skills and sensitivities of a and to be able to balance and combine the two successfully in order to maximise the learning potential of children teacher of childrenteacher of language

20 3. We need better teacher education Specific training for primary teachers of English FL expertise – a high level of fluency Age-appropriate FL teaching skills A broad educational base related to child development and the psychology of learning


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