Eva Duran Eppler [email protected] Jeanette Sakel [email protected] The academic perspective Aims • Background and research: – Language awareness and grammar teaching – Links between MFL and English Language • Evidence from abroad: – Austria – Denmark • Academic approaches to grammar teaching: – Linguistics vs. TESOL • A common approach: – Glossary for KS1-2 English Grammar – The new EC glossary The new curriculum (NC) • Compulsory foreign language teaching at Key Stage 2 • “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 highfrequency 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.” BUT there is wide-spread concern among practitioners1, advisors/consultants2, politicians3, journalists4 and educators5 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). 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? The evidence base Research findings indicate that (+/- early) bilingualism can have clear cognitive and academic advantages: • Attention 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). Murphy & Macaro study • Link between L2 acquisition and L1 literacy • e.g. Murphy et al. (2013): • 3 year study with primary school children Group with Italian as L2 (clearer grapheme-phoneme correspondences) outperformed group with French as L2. Solutions to teaching languages • e.g. Peter Downes ‘Discovering Language’ (ASCL project) • http://www.ascl.org.uk/about-us/asclprojects/discovering-language/ • Teaching a variety of languages, sounds, language families, etc. to primary-school children. Newbury Park • http://www.newburypark.redbridge.sch.uk/l angofmonth/ • ‘Language of the month’ • Individual words/ phrases • Grammar? TV: e.g. The Lingo Show • http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/grownups/s hows/lingo-show • Teaching a dozen words – three in detail CILT/QCA MFL & Literacy Project (1999-2001) Kevin Eames, Wootton Bassett School, Swindon • Developing pupils’ awareness of linguistic terminology, working with the knowledge pupils had gained in MFL sessions • MFL Teachers did not always use the grammatical terms, while the concepts were used Results after one year (Y9) of frequent low-level references to linguistic features Increase in: •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 increased BUT pupils made more inaccurate identifications of features. 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) http://lagb-education.org/grammatical-terminology-for-schools CILT/QCA MFL & Literacy Project (1999-2001), Kevin Eames, Wootton Bassett School • 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 and pupils seem to have retained this learning confidently in their English lessons. 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? Results from Hudson (2004) More mature writing has: • Longer sentences • More adjectives and adverbs. • Fewer coordinated clauses – But related to grade, not to age! • More nouns (but not abstract ones !) Nouns 8 KS1 KS2 KS3 KS4 6 4 2 level A 8 7/ C 6 5 4/ F 3 2b 0 1 % noun (+ 8) 10 Examples from abroad Austria • European Center for Modern Languages Graz, Austria http://www.ecml.at/ • Cultural awareness and language awareness based on dialogic interaction with texts in foreign language learning (2001) • http://archive.ecml.at/documents/pub126fennerE.pdf • The introduction of language awareness into the curriculum (2000-2003) • http://jaling.ecml.at/ Denmark Almen Sprogforståelse (taught before L2s) 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) http://www.almensprogforstaaelse.dk/ Out of school - at university • Students who have learnt a foreign language usually understand linguistic concepts more readily • Those students are usually better at expressing themselves in English • Anecdotal evidence: European students tend to do better at grammar Academic approaches • A common approach – a common terminology? • difference between Linguistics vs. TESOL (and/or languages & area studies) • different approaches, terminologies • Linguistics tend to ‘tease everything apart’ e.g. try to dis-entangle tense and aspect • TESOL teach tense and aspect together • TESOL “fetishes” (tense, reported speech) A common approach? • Need for a common terminology • Need for a systematic approach in which these terms are taught / used in MFL and other language teaching • Terminology list (launch) • Link Grammar teaching at different levels (school: MLF/EL; university: Ling/TESOL) • / link with KS1-2 glossary References • Hudson, R. (2000) 'Grammar Teaching and Writing Skills: The Research Evidence‘ http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/dick/papers/writing.htm • Cross Linguistic Approaches to Language Learning • http://archive.ecml.at/mtp2/alc/pdf/carl_james.pdf Any… A (mind) game If we had a blank slate to introduce CGT into (say) the KS3 Curriculum in a large scale, fully embedded way, how would that look? And what would need to be considered, from the point of view of different parties involved (Govt, ITT providers, School Leadership Teams, Heads of Department, Classroom teachers etc)?
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