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TEACHING YOUNG LEARNERS AN ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE Richard Johnstone Hefei, October 2008 PERSPECTIVE & STRUCTURE OF TODAY’S TALK Perspective Mainly from published international research Policy contacts at national and international levels Also from visits to many countries Structure

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teaching young learners an additional language

TEACHING YOUNG LEARNERS AN ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE

Richard JohnstoneHefei, October 2008

perspective structure of today s talk
PERSPECTIVE & STRUCTURE OF TODAY’S TALK
  • Perspective
    • Mainly from published international research
    • Policy contacts at national and international levels
    • Also from visits to many countries
  • Structure
    • The context of ML at school
    • Processes of ML Teaching & Learning
    • Conclusion: What is successful ML teaching & learning?
a policy example ec action plan
A POLICY EXAMPLE: EC ACTION PLAN

Action Plan for the promotion of language learning and linguistic diversity(2003) :

  • strongly recommends the teaching of modern languages to young children from an early age, with a second AL introduced by the end of PS education.

The Action Plan aims:

  • to develop their proficiency in languages
  • to help them acquire a wider sense of belonging, citizenship and community, and
  • to develop a clearer understanding of their opportunities, rights and responsibilities as mobile citizens of a multilingual Europe.
factors outcomes
FACTORS & OUTCOMES

Personal

Societal

Desirable

Outcomes

Provision

Learner

Process

Group

early language learning desirable outcomes
Early Language Learning: DESIRABLE OUTCOMES?

For society

For the child

  • Openness
  • Competitiveness
  • Mobility
  • Revitalising a threatened language
  • ….. Other?
  • Multilingual proficiency
  • Development of the self
    • Social / Personal / Cognitive / Linguistic …..
  • Career /Higher Education
  • Global citizenship & mobility ……
  • Other? …..
three models
THREE MODELS
  • Bilingual Education
    • Early total or partial immersion
    • High in ‘time’ & ‘intensity’
    • Teachers have to be highly proficient in AL
  • MLPS / FLES – Dominant model across the world
    • Drip-feed, i.e. much smaller time allocation
    • May be separate subject or ‘embedded’
    • A number of possible starting-ages
  • Language Awareness
    • Introduce children to a variety of languages & cultures
mlps fles research evidence on outcomes
MLPS / FLES: RESEARCH EVIDENCE ON OUTCOMES
  • Evidence comes in part from two European Commission reviews, covering 200+ research reports
    • Can promote very favourable attitudes
    • Can promote some degree of language awareness
    • Only limited evidence of development of spontaneous creative proficiency in the Additional Language
    • Much evidence of prefabricated chunks, whether phrases or learnt-by-heart stories
    • If ‘continuity’ into secondary not established, benefits may seem to disappear
    • Importance of ‘sustainability’ over time, beyond favourable initial pilot stage
what jhs teacher may find in pupils coming from ps
What JHS teacher may find in pupils coming from PS
  • Substantial differences in
  • ML capabilities as developed at primary school
  • motivation for ML learning
  • self-perception and self-confidence
  • degree of literacy in Chinese
  • general cognitive abilities
  • parental support
  • their socio-economic background
  • the quality of what has been provided at PS
  • their first-language background
  • perceived value of learning a ML in the part of China where they live
pupil transition primary to secondary
PUPIL TRANSITION PRIMARY TO SECONDARY
  • It works well when between teachers across the two sectors (PS-SS) there is:
    • exchange of information and support
    • reciprocal visits
    • collaborative planning
    • mutual esteem
    • Large-scale project in NSW Australia: Chesterton et al (2004)
    • Joint planning by teachers covering 3 years at PS and 2 years at SS
conditions for moving ml at school forward large scale
CONDITIONS FOR MOVING ML AT SCHOOL FORWARD (LARGE SCALE)

Societal factors

Provision factors

  • Political will for legitimisation, funding & sustainability
  • Parental involvement
  • Local community involvement
  • Exploiting the new technologies
  • Attitudes to AL learning
  • Attitudes to particular languages & cultural groups
  • Supply of teachers
  • CPD support for practising teachers
  • Technology & materials
  • Funding for research
  • Strong links between PS and SS
  • ‘Time’ and ‘Intensity’
  • Supportive school ethos
  • Links with schools (abroad)
conditions for success example
CONDITIONS FOR SUCCESS - EXAMPLE
  • Djigunovich and Vilke (2000) identify key conditions for success in their project:
    • Children beginning early (aged 6)
    • 45 minutes per day for five days per week
    • class size of 15 for languages
    • early incorporation of grammatical concepts after these are firmly established in first language (Croatian)
    • emotional warmth, intellectual challenge
    • all four skills introduced early
    • teachers who possessed a fluent command of the language and a good pronunciation and intonation.
2 b croatia outcomes
2/B CROATIA: OUTCOMES
  • In Years 1 & 2:
    • much active learning through the target language
    • children systematically introduced to concepts about language through their first language (Croatian)
  • From Year 3 onwards:
    • these concepts systematically transferred into their learning of F, G, I or E, this achieved through the target language
  • By the end of Year 4:
    • the children could ‘talk about language’ in the Target Language and were accurate and creative in their writing.
croatia motivation
CROATIA: MOTIVATION
  • A longitudinal study of the same children’s motivation
    • showed it was equally high in Years 1 and 3
    • but its nature had changed considerably
    • from ‘motivation by fun’
    • to ‘motivation because I’m a successful language learner’
becoming creative and accurate
BECOMING CREATIVE AND ACCURATE
  • How to help learners become both creative and accurate in their spontaneous spoken output?
  • Lyster (2004) studied ‘form-focused instruction’ (FFI) and ‘corrective feedback’ (CF) with Grade 5 children.
  • FFI and CF were found to be more successful than an approach based on no-FFI and no-CF.
  • He also found it useful to encourage pupils in ‘noticing’ particular formal features of the target language
  • This helped them develop an awareness of language and to refine their internalised language systems as they progressed
early reading
EARLY READING
  • Mertens (2003) found that children in Grade 1 learning French
    • benefited from being introduced to written French immediately
    • showed results superior to those in purely oral approaches
  • Vickov (2007) claims that children at Grade 1 in Croatia were
    • not disadvantaged in their writing in Croatian by being introduced to writing in English.
early reading16
EARLY READING
  • Dlugosz (2000) found that the introduction of reading in the foreign language at kindergarten
    • even when reading in the first language was also only just starting
    • helped speed the process of understanding and speaking the foreign language.
keeping a portfolio
KEEPING A PORTFOLIO
  • Short statements of what learners think they can do
    • I can explain … a game, a recipe, how to make something
    • I can narrate/tell … an experience, a story, a film
    • I can say … what I like/dislike, and explain why
    • I can speak/talk about … my friends, family
    • I can read … an illustrated children’s book
    • I can find … in a text what I am looking for
  • Personal diary of occasions outside school when the learner used the target language
  • Brief discussion of language-learning problems encountered, and of solutions which the learner has found
  • ….. Other?
processes peer tutoring
PROCESSES: PEER-TUTORING
  • Xu, Gelper & Perkins (2005) studied class-wide peer-tutoring (CWPT)
    • Children at elementary school Grade 2 in the United States
  • Regular instances of:
    • cooperative play
    • reciprocal initiation & response.
  • The researchers concluded that:
    • CWPT had significantly helped the children in their social behaviour.
brief discussion task
BRIEF DISCUSSION TASK
  • With 1-3 colleagues who are sitting beside you, please discuss:
    • In what ways do young learners have an advantage over older learners in learning a modern language?
    • In what ways do older learners have an advantage over younger learners?
younger older learners compared
YOUNGER & OLDER LEARNERS COMPARED

Younger learners

Older learners

  • Sound system
  • Less ‘language anxious’
  • More time available overall
  • Productive links between first and additional languages
  • Range of acquisition and learning processes over time, can complement each other
  • Positive influence on children’s general development: cognitive, linguistic and literacy, emotional, cultural.
  • Make use of existing conceptual map of the world
  • Experienced in discourse, e.g. manage conversations and obtain feedback
  • Wider range of strategies, e.g. note-taking; summarising; reference materials;
  • Sense of WHY, WHAT and HOW, to guide their learning
children s motivation activities
CHILDREN’S MOTIVATION: ACTIVITIES
  • Wu (2003) studied children aged 5 learning English
    • primary school in Hong Kong, monolingual Cantonese
    • classroom activities which fostered intrinsic motivation
  • These included
    • a predictable learning environment,
    • moderately challenging tasks,
    • necessary instructional support,
    • evaluation that emphasises self-Improvement
    • attribution of success or failure to variables that the learner can do something about.
children s intrinsic motivation development
CHILDREN’S INTRINSIC MOTIVATION: DEVELOPMENT
  • Nikolov (1999) followed three cohorts of children
    • for eight years, taught by the same teacher.
  • It was found that
    • learners’ motivation could be maintained by intrinsically interesting and cognitively challenging tasks
  • Intrinsic motivation
    • Initially associated with ‘fun’ activity
    • Then becomes linked to ‘curiosity’ and ‘challenge’
    • Then becomes associated with perception of self as successful language learner
progression ups downs
PROGRESSION: UPS & DOWNS
  • Mitchell (2003) claims that second language learning is
    • not like climbing a ladder; but is
    • a complex and recursive process with multiple interconnections and backslidings, and
    • 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
    • but then in Year 3 went through a phase of ‘Systemturbulenz’ in which their grammar control seemed to fall apart
    • but eventually by Year 4 it sorted itself out.
processes computer mediated
PROCESSES: COMPUTER-MEDIATED
  • Nutta et al (2002) compared
    • a conventional text-based approach with a computer-enhanced multimedia approach, pupils Grades 2-5 in a USA elementary school.
  • The computer-enhanced group:
    • more interactive
    • greater access to immediate feedback
    • more precise in pronunciation
    • smoother flow of reading
    • produced larger chunks of language.
  • Concluded that:
    • ICT can help younger learners in integrating their languages skills and in developing important strategies of monitoring.
creating a real virtual community
CREATING A REAL + VIRTUAL COMMUNITY
  • Partners in Excellence project
    • Scotland: 29 secondary schools
    • Government scheme: special funding to develop excellence
    • Ran for six years
    • Funding also for independent evaluation
    • Report will be published by the end of 2008 (Scottish CILT web-site)
partners in excellence key data
PARTNERS IN EXCELLENCE: KEY DATA
  • Main activities included
    • Residential weekends where pupils made up their own dramas and also learned how to make digitised films of the dramas they had written and acted out (full costume)
    • Project web-site which included special evening surgery sessions at which student from and of the 29 schools could ask questions which would be answered by an ‘on duty’ teacher from one of the 29 schools.
    • Real visits and regular electronic links to schools in France, German and Spain
    • Annual special dinner attended by 200+ students, parents, local and national politicians, education officials and the press, at which the students’ video-dramas were shown on-screen and ‘Oscar’ awards were presented.
partners in excellence outcomes
PARTNERS IN EXCELLENCE: OUTCOMES
  • Higher level of performance in national examinations
  • Higher uptake of foreign language learning in final years of secondary education
  • Stronger motivation for maintaining study and use of their foreign language
  • New sense of identity as a member of three interlocking communities:

Students in 29 PiE schools

The student’s school

Partner schools abroad

discussion task
DISCUSSION TASK
  • Working with 1-3 colleagues sitting beside you, please briefly discuss what seem to be key qualities of:
    • A successful modern language teacher
    • A successful modern language learner.
successful ml teaching
SUCCESSFUL ML TEACHING
  • Seeking to develop not only ML proficiency but also broader aims, e.g. citizenship, intercultural learning, social skills
  • Planning long-term for sustainability, as well as short-term for immediate success
  • Consulting colleagues, parents and pupils
  • Helping pupils understand the rich diversity of human language and the immense potential that each of us possesses
  • Providing a clear example to pupils of oneself as an enthusiastic, though by no means perfect, ML learner and user
  • Encouraging learners to be strategic and reflective, to engage in self-assessment and self-monitoring
successful ml teaching30
SUCCESSFUL ML TEACHING
  • Providing encouragement, sustained and varied input, interaction, feedback, a supportive learning environment and guidance
  • •Understanding that true progression in a language is not based on the ‘ladder’ model but is a more complex and recursive process.
  • Building on children’s first language, whatever that may, be and promoting ‘one plurilingual competence’
  • •Providing open-ended questions and stimuli, encouraging children to be free and creative.
  • Encouraging learners to derive motivation from feelings of pleasure and success in what they are attempting to do
conclusion successful teacher
CONCLUSION: SUCCESSFUL TEACHER
  • •Helping learners understand the structure of different kinds of discourse, e.g. conversations, stories, reports, essays, letters …
  • Helping learners develop skills of predicting, guessing and making inferences
  • •Providing a challenge which stimulates pupils’ interest and curiosity
  • •Ensuring corrective as well as positive feedback, while ensuring that this does not undermine confidence or self-esteem
  • Collaborating and joint planning with other colleagues in the school and with teachers from the other sector
  • Adopting an inclusive approach, bringing encouragement, emotional warmth appropriate support to all pupils
  • ….. Other?
conclusion successful learner
CONCLUSION: SUCCESSFUL LEARNER
  • Plans, practices, revises
  • Reviews, Self-assesses
  • Processes input, e.g. notices, guesses, infers, predicts
  • Seeks opportunities to use the TL ‘for real’
  • Seeks feedback: - as well as +
  • Relates learning & use of ML to learning of other things
  • Uses reference material appropriately
  • Engages in positive attributions
  • Interacts and negotiates meaning, e.g. probes, seeks clarification
  • Offers help, seeks help
  • Takes personal responsibility
  • Is aware of and manages different types of discourse
  • Produces spontaneous as well as non-spontaneous output
  • Focuses on form as well as on meaning, at different times
  • Controls anxiety and uses this productively
  • Feels confident, self-efficacious
  • Seeks underlying pattern
  • Pays attention, focuses attention, sustains attention
  • Develops strategies, uses these and reflects on / revises them
  • Self-motivates, self-rewards, is curious and seeks challenges
  • …… Other?
references
REFERENCES:

All references in this PP are to be found in:

Chesterton, P., Steigler-Peters, S., Moran, W. & Piccioli, M. T. (2004). Developing sustainable language learning pathways: an Australian initiative. Language, Culture & Curriculum, 17, 1, 48-57

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. http://ec.europa.eu/education/policies/lang/doc/young_en.pdf

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

http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/Source/JohnstoneEN.pdf

And finally:

謝謝!