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Title: Moving from primary to secondary education : an investigation into the effect of primary to secondary transition on motivation for language learning and foreign language proficiency
Author: Courtney, Louise Mary
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 8299
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2014
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Despite the fact that the primary languages initiative was not made compulsory in 2011, excellent progress has been made in implementing primary language teaching in the majority of English schools. However, previous research in a range of contexts has shown that a critical success factor for the success of early foreign language teaching lies in the successful transition of pupils from primary to secondary school. Transition studies focused on the core subjects of English, maths and science have shown that there are issues related to social adjustment as well as evidence of a drop in learner motivation across the first year of secondary school along side a hiatus in academic progress. In relation to foreign language teaching, it is well-documented that poor transition and liaison arrangements contributed to the failure of the last major primary languages in England. Several other studies report a lack of clear evidence of a sustained advantage for early starters and a drop in learner motivation following transition which has been attributed to a lack of continuation in teaching approaches and a tendency for secondary schools to start language teaching from scratch. Taking a longitudinal mixed-method approach to the investigation of learner motivation and linguistic progression, with a cohort of 26 students from two primary schools, the study provides detailed information firstly on the levels of French attainment reached at the end of the primary phase as well as motivation for language learning. Data collected at two points post transition show that motivation developed qualitatively and quantitatively across the year, particularly in relation to the learning situation and the perceived instrumentality of language learning. There was no evidence of a hiatus in terms of learner progression in French learning however the results emphasise the role of individual differences in learner outcomes. This study contributes to an increased understanding early learner motivation and provides detailed, insightful and original evidence regarding the learning of French by early learners within an instructed setting.
Supervisor: Mitchell, Rosamond Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB1501 Primary Education ; LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools