Seminar with colleagues from East AsiaEARLY BILINGUAL EDUCATION: Models and Evidence Richard JohnstoneMadrid, 2nd March 2010
Models of Languages Education at Primary School • ML as Subject • ML as Subject, but in part embedded • ML as Subject, but with more time allocated • e.g. 45 minutes per day • ML as Subject but with (say) 6 months Intensified • e.g. 70% in (say) Year 4, as a booster, then back to ML as Subject • ML partly as Subject, partly for learning other Subject Content • e.g. Aspects of 1-2 Subjects from (say) Year 4: Permanent or Intermittent • Bilingual Education (Partial Immersion: Whole-school or Dual-track) • e.g. Early / Delayed / Late • Bilingual Education (Total Immersion: Whole-school or Dual-track) • e.g. Early / Delayed / Late
QUESTIONS • When learning an additional language: • In what ways do younger learners have an advantage over older learners? • In what ways do older learners have an advantage over younger learners?
YOUNGER & OLDER LEARNERS COMPARED Younger learners Older learners • Still access their intuitive language-acquisition capability? • More sensitive to the sound system • Less ‘language anxious’ • More time available overall • Productive links between first and additional languages • Acquisition and learning processes over time complement each other • Positive influence on general development: cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, hence identity. • Make use of existing conceptual map of the world • Experienced in discourse, e.g. manage conversations (e.g. Scarcella & Higa, 1985) • Wider range of strategies, e.g. • note-taking • summarising • reference materials • Sense of WHY, WHAT and HOW, to guide their learning
Characteristics of immersion • Models of immersion: • Early – middle – late • Total – partial • Social-cultural reasons for immersion
Immersion outcomes • Carleton Board (Canada, 1994) • All French Immersion models (EFI, MFI and LFI) produce functional proficiency in Immersion French in all four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. • These go well beyond what is achieved in the more limited Core French programme (i.e. in French as a school subject). • Moreover, EFI learners consistently outperform MFI learners who in turn outperform LFI learners.
Outcomes: Published examples • Genesee review of published research (1987) • EI superior to MI superior to LI but all forms of I superior to conventional model of TL as school subject • EFI children lagged behind mainstream counterparts in E reading, spelling and written vocabulary in Grades 1-3, but they caught up thereafter. Standardised tests of mathematics, science and English Language Arts showed that elementary schooling EFI had no negative effects in these areas
Outcomes: Published examples • Lapkin, Hart & Swain (1991) • Compared EI with MI in metropolitan Toronto across 4 boards and 26 classes • EI outperformed MI in L, S, R , W French • EI were nearer to NS on all four measures • By Grade 8 the differences between the two groups were so significant that it would not be appropriate for the two groups to be merged.
Outcomes: published examples • Thomas, Collier & Abbott (USA, 1993) • EPI in Spanish, French and Japanese over grades 1-3, compared with ‘comparison’ . English language groups. • All groups matched for cognitive abilities, economic status, ethnic grouping and first language • In mathematics, the EPI groups did at least as well as the Comparison groups in Grades 1, 2 and 3 • In English Language Arts, the EPIs were significantly outperforming the Comparison groups by end of grade 2.
Early Partial Immersion (China) • State primary school. • Teacher-pupil ratio: 1-50 • Teachers: NNS • Grades 1-3. • 96 boys, 87 girls • Experimental Group • Early partial immersion 50/50 English/Mandarin • E: Moral education, art, music, PE, science 14 hours • M: Chinese R & calligraphy 10 hours + 6 hours math • Comparison Group • Conventional Mandarin-language education
Early Partial Immersion (China): Researched outcomes • RQ1 • The immersion students scored significantly higher than the non-immersion students on the English word recognition, vocabulary, and oral language measures. • RQ2 • No significant differences between the two groups of children in their ability to recognize Chinese characters. Although the English immersion children studied Chinese characters for the same amount of time as the non-immersion students, they were not exposed to the same amount of Mandarin as their non-immersion peers. (Knell et al: 2007)
Initial weaknesses in form-meaning connections • Harley (1991) ‘It is clear that although immersion students demonstrate excellent understanding of language in context, this cannot be taken as firm evidence that they have correctly identified all the form-meaning connections involved. They become adept at inferring global meaning, using clues in the surrounding discourse or in the external situation. One example of the discrepancy between global comprehension and oral production is in their use of conditional forms. Grade 1 early immersion student are readily able to comprehend conditional sentences and can translate them into English, but years later in Grade 10, we find some students still have trouble with conditionals in their oral production.’ • Dicks (1994) found major errors in immersion learners’ command of the perfect and imperfect tenses in oral communication • Since then, much development and research has been focused on finding ways of helping immersion pupils to refine and gain greater control over their internalised language systems.
Model 4: CLIL in Finland • Järvinen, H-J. (2008) • Grades 1-3 at school in Finland • CLIL students (25% in EFL) compared with mainstream non-CLIL students • CLIL students language development was quicker • It was also different: After 1-word phase in Grades 1&2, suddenly full-blown sentences in Grade 3 • Mainstream pupils progressed through multi-word fragments but failed to produce full-blown sentences by end of Grade 5 • Three years of CLIL needed (Grades 1-3) for completion of implicit L2 development, leading to fine-tuning activities from Grade 4 onwards. (c.f. Vienna Bilingual Project)
Model 4: Finland – Pedagogical implications • The CLIL classroom environment CAN trigger natural L2 acquisition • CLIL teachers need high level of L2 proficiency • Importance of: • Focusing on language as well as on content • Supporting accuracy as well as fluency, and of exploring deep meaning (e.g. content-specific concepts; higher-order thinking skills). • Challenging pupils’ comprehension • Creating opportunities for pupils to produce fairly elaborate stretches of expression, not simply 1or2-word responses. • Recent Canadian and other research points in same direction • To get beyond plateau of confident, fluent mistake-ridden production • Includes form-focused instruction with negative feedback
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN ELL PEDAGOGY THEN…. NOW …. • Dependence on input in the classroom, e.g. teacher, audio • Assume children will develop implicit, intuitive knowledge of the additional language system • Initially Listening & Speaking before Reading & Writing • Lots of learning by heart, fun, songs, drama, games • Praise plus limited correction • Progressing through successive stages of a course • Varied Input (including ICT) + interaction • Transfer explicit knowledge of language concepts from first language • Early introduction reading & writing, to complement listening & speaking • Development of learner strategies, e.g. diaries, portfolios • Praise plus corrective feedback, importance of ‘noticing’ forms • Climbing an explicit ladder of performance, e.g. level 1 to level 6
EBE: Negative factors • Inadequate supply of appropriately trained teachers • Senior management staff offer only token support • Inadequate amount of time made available per week • Discontinuities between one year-group and another, and between PS & SS. • Teaching methodology based on false assumptions • Parents’ concerns are not addressed • Too much wear-and-tear on teachers • Based on short-term planning only, so no provision for longer-term sustainability • Anxieties concerning impact of EBE on: • learners’ first language • Learners’ national / cultural identity • Learners’ learning of key subjects • Lack of sustainable support at national level, as educational priorities change • Influence of one or small number of publicly articulate opponents of EBE • Wish to suppress / control particular languages and their speakers, e.g. L1 minority, ethnic, religious groups • Lack of national or regional co-ordination and leadership • Lack of suitable curriculum and/or materials and/or courses for teachers and managers • Top-down impact of traditional national examinations which are not compatible with EBE curriculum • School management feel they have been pushed too quickly into implementing EBE before they are ready • Dysfunctional competition between proponents of different models of EBE (‘Ours is the best!’) • Feeling among staff who teach on the traditional curriculum that their status or even job are under threat from in-comers who are fluent in the EBE target language
EAST ASIA EBE RESEARCH SURVEY • It is important to define clearly what the term EBE will mean. It will mean all of the following: • Teaching not only English as a language but also teaching additional subject content through the medium of English • Thereby allocating more time for English than would be allocated for teaching English as a language alone • Not requiring a common percentage of time for English cross schools, but assuming it will be from a minimum of 15% to a maximum of 50% or more of total time per week • Not requiring a particular starting age or sector of education at school, and assuming that in some cases it will begin with young children, in other cases with older children and in other cases with students aged 12 or above.
EAST ASIA EBE RESEARCH SURVEY • The present study is of an exploratory nature. Its objectives are to find answers to the following questions: • What is happening across the East Asia region with regard to EBE policy and planning? • What sort of approach might Ministries of Education develop towards EBE? • What are the potential rewards of implementing an EBE approach? • How can risks be minimised, and chances of success maximised?
EAST ASIA EBE RESEARCH SURVEY • Data for the study will be collected in the following countries: Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, where it is believed that there is a particular interest in developing appropriate forms of EBE. • Although data will not be collected directly from Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan, the report arising from the present study will be made available to these countries and, should they so choose, their participation in subsequent developments will be welcomed.
EAST ASIA EBE RESEARCH SURVEY • Data will be collected in two ways: • Review of published research articles and policy documents for each country involved and from the international field more generally. • Interviews with key stakeholders in the field for each country.
EAST ASIA EBE RESEARCH SURVEY • Submission of reports • The Research Group will submit draft reports in English by the end of March 2010 to the Director according to a template which will be discussed and agreed at the December meeting. During April 2010 the Director will draw up an overall Final Report, based on the Research Group’s reports, will email this to the Research Group with an invitation that they should offer their comments and suggestions, and will present the Final Report to the British Council East Asia Network by the end of April 2010. • Final Report • The Final Report will be based mainly on high-quality research evidence from the present study, and will also be more generally informed by other relevant studies. It will not seek to persuade Ministries about what they should do but rather will provide a text which brings together relevant information on possible ways forward for EBE, for them to consider in the light of their own policies and circumstances.
BEP (SPAIN): THE 16 STUDIES • Primary 5&6 learners’ performance in class • Good practice associated with P5&6 classrooms • Secondary 1&2 learners’ performance in class • Good practice associated with S1&2 classrooms • Infants and early primary • P6 pupils’ oral assessments in English • P6 pupils’ writing in English • Secondary 2 students’ writing in Spanish: BEP compared with non-BEP • Secondary 4 students’ attainments in international external examination • Primary 6 and Secondary 2 students’ perceptions • Primary school classeachers’ perceptions • Secondary school classteachers’ perceptions • Primary school headteachers’ perceptions • Secondary school headteachers’ perceptions • BEP management issues • Primary 6 and Secondary 2 parents’ perceptions
BC SPAIN-LED FEASIBILITY STUDIES • BEP (Spain) • Feasibility Study (Italy) • Feasibility Study (Portugal) • Discussions between BC Spain and Ministry & BC of particular country (+ BC Lead Adviser on BS) • BC after consultation assesses costs and submits a FS proposal • Ministry decides if FS to go ahead • Agreement signed • FS Steering Group appointed • Portugal FS • Research Team appointed • Director + two Senior Researchers + three Researchers • Interview staff in 12 schools + parents • Schools selected to give representation of the 5 regions of Portugal and as potentially interested in and capable of EBE • Interview staff in regional authorities • Prepare FS Report for discussion with FS Steering Group • Report will discuss issues such as • To what extent is EBE feasible in this country? • If so, when might it begin? With which schools? • What levels of staffing, training and other support would be needed? • To what extent might the model be generalised, and if so, on what timescale?
REFERENCES Carleton Board of Education. (1996). Comparative outcomes and impacts of early middle and late entry French immersion options: review of recent research and annotated bibliography. Ottawa: Carleton Board of Education. Dicks, J. (1994). A comparative study of the acquisition of French verb tense and aspect in early, middle and late French immersion. Unpublished PhD thesis. University of Ottawa: 53-221. Quoted in Carleton Board of Education (1996) op cit. Genesee, F. (1987). Learning through two languages: studies of immersion and bilingual education. Cambridge MA: Newbury House. Harley, B. (1991). Instructional strategies and SLA in early French immersion. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 15, 245-249. Järvinen, H-M. (2001). Research in CLIL. Euroclic: Bulletin 8. Lapkin, S., D. Hart & M. Swain. (1991). Early and Middle French Immersion Programs: French language outcomes. Canadian Modern Language Review 48.1, 11-40 Larsen-Freeman, D. & L. Cameron. (2008). Research and methodology on language development from a complex systems perspective. The Modern Language Journal 92.ii, 200－213 Scarcella, R. C. & C. A. Higa, (1982). Input and age differences in second language acquisition. In: S. Krashen, R. C. Scarcella & M. H. Long (Eds.). Child-adult differences in second language acquisition. Rowley, Mass: Newbury House Thomas, W. P., V. Collier & M. Abbott. (1993). Academic achievement through Japanese, Spanish or French. The first two years of partial immersion. The Modern Language Journal, 77, 2, 170-179.