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Title: Towards a new framework of modern language curriculum development
Author: Casanas, Magi
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1991
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The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to our understanding of instructed language learning among adolescents. It addresses the educational question of how adolescent classroom learners can best develop the ability to use a foreign language (in this case English) for their individual purposes. The empirical data for the study derive from the record of a pedagogical experiment carried out with two groups of 38 secondary school learners in Catalunya. The purpose of the experiment was not only to improve their proficiency in the target language but also their attitude towards language learning. In line with contemporary curriculum theory, and on the basis of the set of procedures followed during the experiment and the views and attitudes expressed by the participants, the author proposes an alternative to the traditional framework of modern language curriculum development. The new framework, which is centred on the notion of learner autonomy, is devised to achieve a more successful learning outcome as a result of a more suitable learning environment. In this study two major hypotheses are explored: 1. Instructed language learning is the result of multiple interaction between individual learners and the constraints imposed by the learning/teaching environment.2. As far as adolescents are concerned, successful language learning is closely related to personal involvement in the process of the negotiation of meaning; and this, in turn, is directly linked to their perception of learning activity as personally meaningful and relevant to their perceived needs and interests. The description, evaluation and interpretation of the experiment provide evidence of the positive effects of the alternative framework proposed in a specific classroom context and the two hypotheses are supported. Nevertheless, language learning is a complex phenomenon and the author is aware of the need to replicate the experiment and contrast it with further research before any wider claims can be made about adolescent modern language learning.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available