The educational aims of primary MFL teaching: an investigation into the perceived importance of linguistic competence and intercultural understanding


Woodgate-Jones, Alex (2009) The educational aims of primary MFL teaching: an investigation into the perceived importance of linguistic competence and intercultural understanding. Language Learning Journal, 37, (2), 255-265. (doi:10.1080/09571730902928136).

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Description/Abstract

Since the publication in England of the National Languages Strategy, there has been much debate concerning the aims of primary modern foreign language (PMFL) teaching. This article presents research into the beliefs of tutors and preservice
teachers in training on Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) courses with a PMFL specialism in England. It considers several widely reported aims of PMFL teaching, but focuses particularly on the balance between developing children’s linguistic competence and their intercultural understanding (IU), as advocated by the Department for Education and Skills in the National Languages Strategy. Findings show some disparity of beliefs both among tutors and their pre-service teachers and between them, thus highlighting the possibility of a lack of a consistent approach to PMFLs. The article goes on to consider evidence which suggests that although many of those working in primary education claim to value IU, in practice it may not be taught systematically. It also considers reasons for this. This is reviewed in the context of the Key Stage 2 Framework for Languages which may have the potential to provide the structure for a more balanced approach to PMFLs.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0957-1736 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: primary modern foreign languages, intercultural understanding, linguistic competence
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2361 Curriculum
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Education > Social Justice and Inclusive Education
ePrint ID: 66823
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2009
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:47
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/66823

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