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Title: Developing little linguists? : pupils' perceptions of modern languages in the primary school
Author: Taylor, Michael George
ISNI:       0000 0004 2724 8145
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2010
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With Modern Languages in the Primary School (MLPS) to be a compulsory element of the curriculum in England from 2011, MLPS has enjoyed a recent renaissance nationally 1. Policy makers hope that by providing a positive Modern Language (ML) learning experience in the primary school, these attitudes will be carried forward by pupils to secondary school where numbers studying MLs have fallen dramatically in recent years since the removal of its compulsory subject status. However, as the MLPS initiative as a whole is still in its infancy and provision is varied, it remains to be seen how these developments will impact upon pupils' attitudes to MLs in the secondary school. This study attempts to go some way to address this question within the context of an English secondary school by surveying 181 pupils at the start of Year 7 following their MLPS experience. The aim of this research is to map out the MLPS landscape in the 70 feeder primary schools as experienced by pupils and to determine the associated attitudes to ML learning. English MLPS policy is examined as is previous research and writing on MLPS models, its impact upon pupils and potential issues. A case study approach is adopted with a mixed methodology incorporating a questionnaire administered to all pupils as well as focus groups conducted by MLPS provision type. Data is analysed using quantitative and qualitative methods. Triangulation is achieved through interviews with MLPS teachers and managers and secondary ML teachers and managers, and observations of MLPS lessons. It was found that pupils generally possess very positive attitudes to ML learning at the start of Year 7 and that no one particular MLPS model proved to be more effective in promoting positive attitudes. Elements of provision were drawn out that pupils found to be particularly enjoyable and although the results are specific to this case, the findings may especially be of interest to those managing or establishing an MLPS programme.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available