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

Record type: Article

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.

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Citation

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), pp. 255-265. (doi:10.1080/09571730902928136).

More information

Published date: July 2009
Keywords: primary modern foreign languages, intercultural understanding, linguistic competence

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 66823
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/66823
ISSN: 0957-1736
PURE UUID: f8b21f8a-12df-4ee0-a548-85d86fde8664

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Jul 2009
Last modified: 19 Jul 2017 00:21

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