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Teacher education for primary languages: higher education


Title: Senior women managers in higher education: case studies from the UK Author: Viv Griffiths Last modified by: vg31 Created Date: 5/18/2011 10:01:42 PM – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Teacher education for primary languages: higher education

Teacher education for primary languages higher
educations role in employment-based routes
  • Vivienne Griffiths, Carol Tingey, Manuela Thomae
  • Canterbury Christ Church University
  • Paper presented at the TEAN conference, May 20
    2011, Manchester

Outline of talk
  • Introduction to the research
  • Background on GTP and primary languages
  • Methodology - what we will do
  • What we have done so far
  • Initial findings
  • Implications for practice

The research
  • A one-year Escalate-funded research project.
  • The project aims to
  • investigate primary languages on university-led
    Graduate Teacher Programmes at Key Stage 2
  • identify what factors affect trainee teachers
    primary language learning, e.g. GTP provider,
    school context
  • highlight ways in which GTP provision of primary
    languages can be enhanced.

Graduate Teacher Programme
  • The GTP is an employment-based ITE route
  • University-led GTPS often run in parallel to PGCE
  • Little research on how GTP trainee teachers
    develop a professional identity (Griffiths 2007
  • Intensive and demanding way into teaching
  • Can be highly effective for mature entrants to
    teaching, including former TAs or career changers
  • Ties in with work-based learning research (Eraut
    2007, Fuller et al. 2007)

Primary languages
  • UK behind rest of Europe in language
  • Entitlement to language learning in primary
    schools since Languages for All (DfES 2002)
    requirement by 2010
  • KS2 Framework for Languages (DfES 2005)
  • Vision to increase language diversity and
    intercultural awareness through focused language
    teaching and integrated approaches, including
    community languages
  • Driscoll et al (2004) found some good quality
    training but limited opportunities to observe
    good language teaching.
  • Uncertain future of primary languages under

Primary GTP languages
  • Issues include lack of good language models and
    specialist teachers lack of confidence among
  • Need to identify level of competence needed to
    ensure a generalist teacher can teach languages.
  • Tingey (2006) found that the Primary GTP
    languages pilot for MFL specialists (2004-6)
  • enhanced MFL specialist trainees language skills
    through a European placement
  • enabled them to contribute to language teaching
    and take language leadership roles in schools.
  • But what about generalist trainee teachers?

  • The research will involve
  • online questionnaire to trainees and NQTs in 5
    GTPs across England about language competence and
    experience during ITE
  • interviews with language tutors and GTP leads
  • follow up interviews with 10 sample
  • in-depth case studies of at least 5 NQTs (1 per
    GTP) from interview sample
  • identification of good materials, training etc.

What we have done so far
  • Conducted a small pilot study to try out the
    questionnaires and focus group interviews.
  • Difficulties in obtaining access to GTPs, as
    providers are gatekeepers to trainees NQTs.
  • Easier to go to GTP providers in person and then
    enter responses on to online survey.
  • 94 GTP trainees 43 NQTs so far from 3 GTPs.
  • Further 74 responses from 2 GTPs not yet entered

Initial findings
  • 94 trainees 30 men, 64 women.
  • Diversity and range of language competence
  • 4 have language degrees
  • 91 have basic or good knowledge of French
  • 23 have basic or good knowledge of German
  • 17 have basic or good knowledge of Spanish
  • 4 people know 5 languages including their 1st
  • 13 languages are known across the sample.
  • Include Chinese, Russian, Punjabi, Urdu, Italian

Languages on GTP
  • 97 have had university session on languages
  • Often join with primary PGCEs for this
  • 50 were whole day, 50 half day
  • 12 have had school session on languages (e.g.
    MFL school inset)
  • Sessions consist largely of
  • brief background on primary languages
  • practical ideas to use in schools
  • useful materials and online resources

Observing language teaching
  • Primary languages observed in schools
  • 76 - as a separate subject, usually French
  • 53 - integrated approach, e.g. register,
  • 18 - cross-curricular approach, e.g. thematic
  • 16 - after school clubs 7 - other, e.g. day
  • Predominance of separate subject teaching, mainly
    French, can be limiting to multi-ethnic schools
  • Integrated and thematic approaches often involve
    several languages, including community languages
  • Most teaching in KS2 and often by visiting

Teaching languages
  • 64 have taught some languages, 34 not
  • Ranges from helping with some lessons to taking a
    lesson each week. Most teach French in KS2.
  • I use French instruction on a daily basis and I
    always take the register in a wide range of
  • Have taken register myself in French, Russian
  • Cross-curricular art/German lesson
  • Briefly, but couldnt find relevant resources
  • French, it went very badly

Support needed
  • practical ideas and access to resources
  • training in and revision of languages
  • enrichment days and inset
  • more opportunities to observe and teach languages
  • Range of confidence
  • From observations and subject days, Im pretty
    confident I could cope.
  • I think specialist teachers are a great idea.
    Im happy to teach the basic French I know but
    dont feel Im giving the children the best
    possible start in languages.

What we need implications for practice
  • More training in languages, though time is short
  • More examples of good practice in schools
  • More detailed insight into levels of language
    competence needed to be confident, good role
  • Useful resources and practical ideas
  • Innovative approaches to language teaching
  • e.g. school where Arabic is main language
  • schools where a wide range of languages are

  • Thank you very much for listening
  • Your ideas, suggestions and experience
  • will be very welcome!
  • viv.griffiths_at_canterbury.ac.uk

  • DfES (2002) Languages for All Languages for
    Life, a Strategy for England. London DfES.
  • DfES (2005) Key Stage 2 Framework for Languages.
    London DfES.
  • Driscoll, P., Jones, J. Macrory, G. (2004) The
    provision of foreign language learning for
    pupils at Key Stage 2. http//publications.dcsf.go
  • Griffiths, V. (2007) Experiences of training on
    an employment-based route into teaching in
    England, Journal of In-Service Education, 33(1)
  • Griffiths, V. Driscoll, P. (2010) Languages,
    diversity and communities language learning
    policies and primary practice in England, in C.
    Govaris S. Kaldi (eds) Intercultural Education
    in Europe. Berlin Waxmann, pp. 37-57.
  • Tingey, C. (2006) Primary languages GTP
    balancing generalist and subject specialist
    training in initial teacher education.
    Unpublished article.
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