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An example of production procedures : The Framework for Early Second Language Learning. Machteld Verhelst LANGUAGES OF SCHOOLING AND THE RIGHT TO PLURILINGUAL AND INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION Strasbourg, 8 – 10 June 2009. Background. Dutch Language Union, 2001
LANGUAGES OF SCHOOLING AND THE RIGHT TO PLURILINGUAL
AND INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION
Strasbourg, 8 – 10 June 2009
Dutch Language Union, 2001
Language proficiency as a key to school success (Dutch as a 1st (native children) or 2nd language (immigrant children))
Focus on young learners (switch from pre-primary to primary education, ISCED 0)
To define a 'sufficient' (mimimal) level of language proficiency in the language of schooling to benefit from education (no scaling)
The second language referred to in this Framework is the language of schooling of the migrant’s children host country
“What should immigrant children be able to do with the language of schooling by the end of pre-school education?”
objectives are applicable to all children
Team of 7 linguists/pedagogues
1) Analysis of relevant documents (30):
* all local documents enjoying a certain status in relation to objectives for early L2 acquisition
eg. The Flemish official (Governmental) ‘developmental goals’ (1997)
* the material available to organise L2 teaching for immigrant pre-school children
2) First consultation of experts and practitioners in the Netherlands and Flanders on genereal themes/selection criteria, by written surveys
* educationalists, materials developers & policy makers (40)
* teacher trainers, school advisors, inspectors, teachers and managers (40)
3) Second consultation in a smaller committee with representatives of both groups
4) Third consultation (large group): feedback on first version of the list of descriptors
5) Final consultation: consensus in a meeting
Choices: How concrete? How general?
-> a sufficient degree of concreteness such that transference (and adaptability) to practice remains guaranteed
-> a sufficient degree of generality such that the number of objectives does not get out of hand and the main lines remain visible.
Concreteness is also ensured by giving a examples from classroom practice.
macro (fields/domains), meso (language acts/tasks) and micro (elements): the same reality, but from a different standpoint
1. Linguistic skill at the macro level:
= which are the main fields in which the pre-school child must understand and produce the language of schooling?
Three relevant fields:
- the field of school; “school” here means any situation occurring within the educational sphere and intended to stimulate the child’s development;
- the out-of-school field: social relationships with friends, family members and acquaintances;
- the media contact field: looking at TV, playing computer games in the language of schooling).
Focus on the school domain
> Perspective of possible achievement gaps
Children who do not sufficiently understand the language of schooling, and who fail to express themselves adequately within the school, risk running into problems at a very early stage of their development.
Language problems which threaten children early do not arise primarily in the other domains.
= which specific language use situations are relevant to pre-school children and which language tasks must be carried out in this connection?
-> selection criterium: the starting-point is a functional paradigm: pre-school children are able to understand and produce linguistic messages to achieve a purpose that is relevant and of interest.
= distinction between the child him/herself, known peers (e.g. classmates), unknown peers (e.g. children from other schools), known adults (e.g. the teacher) or unknown adults;
Examples of text types are an instruction, a story, an account (e.g. of one’s own experience), a question, an answer to a question;
Eg. it may be specified in the case of an instruction (text type) by the teacher that the instruction is one which calls for a physical act by the child (= subject).
The child understands instructions given to him/her in class by the teacher and requiring concrete action from him/her.
Translated into the above parameters, this becomes:
Listening (=skill): the child understands (=processing level) oral instructions (=text type) which are given to him/her (=audience) by the teacher (=interlocutor) in class (=reference to macro level) and which call for concrete physical action from him/her in a here-and-now situation (=subject).
The pre-school child is able to answer questions (= text type) about his/her own life in the concrete context of the here-and-now (= subject) intended for him/her (= audience), at the descriptive level (= processing level) and in a communicatively adequate manner.
-> very closely interrelated:
not regarded as three separate “programmes” or “sets of objectives”
When determining, describing and evaluating objectives, all three levels are always needed together, precisely because they are always present together in the communication situation and influence each other.
For the pre-school child, taking all three levels into account in an integrated way is necessary in order to perform adequately in communication terms in the relevant situations.
-> Not advisable to consider (in teaching: in assessment) the micro level in isolation: the link with the meso and macro levels is always essential.
Complexity is defined using different parameters:
-> The next level of complexity is reached when moving one of these indicators up.