Using language learning strategies to develop ab-initio PGCE students' skills in primary modern languages
AuthorsMoya, Mario Raul Angel
SubjectsR990 European Languages, Literature and related subjects not elsewhere
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe announcements concerning the introduction of modern languages in Key Stage Two in England (https://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/ curriculum/national curriculum2014, [accessed 8 March 2013]), although not a new initiative, have renewed the need to train generalist primary teachers in teaching modern languages. Following an initial announcement of the introduction of the English Baccalaureate, the poor outcomes achieved by England in the European languages survey (COE, 2012) and the news that modern languages would be part of the primary curriculum (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-18531751 [accessed 21 June 2012]) contributed to refreshing the agenda of languages in the country and the role of early second language learning appears to be slowly resurrecting. In order to provide trainee teachers with the skills necessary for teaching young learners modern languages, this study focuses on increasing subject knowledge and pedagogical competence in a short time by developing trainees’ reflective practice, broadly following the tradition of strategy-based instruction (Macaro, 2001; Cohen, 2007; Oxford, 2011), but within a social constructivist understanding of learning using collaboration. The research, which follows a mixed method case study approach, proposes and trials a teaching approach that incorporates language learning strategies in a collaborative manner. The design of a revised strategy-based approach has a three-fold purpose: (i) to enable primary trainee teachers to develop the linguistic skills necessary to teach another language through the use of the linguistic knowledge they already possess in their own mother tongue (Saville-Troike, 2012); (ii) to use self-regulation to build confidence and competence in the target language; and (iii) to enable trainees and pupils to develop their language learning autonomy. Results indicate that, within the case studies reported here, such an approach seemed to be an effective way of learning and teaching another language simultaneously for adults, as it provided ab-initio language learners with a basis for the development of linguistic skills thus increasing their capacity for languages. Whilst there is no claim to generalisation here, the studies indicate that using language learning strategies may create and sustain interest and engagement in the subject—a condition that has been identified as critical to the success of any teaching approach. Whilst the results were positive in terms of developing acceptable levels of linguistic competence in adult learners over a short time, the use of a strategy-based method with children did not prove satisfactory, perhaps because of the high metacognitive demands placed on them when they had not yet developed high level abstract thinking, particularly the amount of prior knowledge needed and the language required to verbalise complex cognitive processes.
CitationMoya, M.R.A. (2014) 'Using language learning strategies to develop ab-initio PGCE students' skills in primary modern languages'. Ed.D. thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education
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