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Doctoral Research Idea

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by chris_martin, Oct 15, 2016.


Are languages optional or compulsory at your school?

  1. Optional

    3 vote(s)
  2. Compulsory

    7 vote(s)
  1. chris_martin

    chris_martin New commenter

    Hello all,

    My name is Chris Martin and I am currently a Head of MFL and an Associate School Leader with whole-school responsibility for Literacy. I am a registered doctoral researcher in Education at the University of Wolverhampton.

    I am interested in researching the external factors that influence students' motivation to learn a foreign language, in particular parental influences.

    I teach in a school in an area of high social deprivation and high unemployment. Poor job prospects and poor outcomes at secondary school are prevalent amongst some of the parents in the area and this has an effect on students' motivation. I am hoping to conduct a pilot study this academic year and would like to hear from some schools in other areas of high social deprivation that either observe the same phenomenon or are successful in maintaining good levels of motivation and securing good outcomes (national average or better) at GCSE.

    I would be interested to hear from you and many thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts and ideas on the topic.
    install likes this.
  2. install

    install Star commenter

    Learning a language or even two happens from birth for many students now. Might be worth looking at EAL students here and newly arrived students.

    Where schools go wrong and even your Survey is that they forget that English is a new language to many students in deprived areas.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
    sabrinakat and chris_martin like this.
  3. chris_martin

    chris_martin New commenter

    Many thanks for your comments install. I was hoping to focus on students with English as their mother tongue as opposed to EAL students and newly arrived students (although there are a number of EAL and newly arrived students at my school).

    If I were to focus on these students, would you suggest I document their learning journey to achieving fluency in English?
    install likes this.
  4. install

    install Star commenter

    Sounds good to me - you may find that they exceed native English speakers. And you may also find that school support for EAL speakers is actually quite weak...
    chris_martin likes this.
  5. armandine2

    armandine2 Established commenter

    There is perhaps a basic (existing in young people) English cultural mindset which is/has been primed for a monolingual learning experience - that may be compared somehow with English subject curricula (as external - policy, history) - i.e. I'm thinking who can/does/able to (internally) use their classes effectively to explore other peoples' cultures; sowing enough knowledge and skills to reap that motivated study interest direction. If you are not obliged to learn it - culturally - why would you?, of course.
    install and chris_martin like this.
  6. Orifice

    Orifice New commenter

    Something to consider: EAL pupils are not learning English as a foreign language; they are learning English as a second/additional language. FL learning contexts and SL learning contexts are totally different (I may be stating the obvious - apologies).

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