ERIC Number: EJ1065762
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Middle School Foreign Language Instruction: A Missed Opportunity?
Kissau, Scott; Adams, Mary Jo; Algozzine, Bob
Foreign Language Annals, v48 n2 p284-303 Sum 2015
Multiple studies conducted over the past decade have suggested the motivational and proficiency-related benefits of commencing language instruction at an early age. Limitations in many of these studies, however, have prevented their results from being applied to the teaching of foreign languages in the United States. In response to calls for further studies examining the possible benefits of early-start foreign language instruction, the researchers used a mixed methodology to compare the oral proficiency and motivation of two groups of foreign language learners studying Level II French, German, Spanish, or Mandarin. One group consisted of primarily 14-year-old students who began their foreign language studies in middle school, and the other included 15- and 16-year-olds who postponed the onset of their foreign language instruction until high school. Quantitative and qualitative data collected from student surveys, tests scores, and individual interviews suggested both proficiency-related and motivational benefits of commencing language instruction at an early age. Equipped with these much-needed results, foreign language stakeholders should renew their argument to expand early-start foreign language programs in K--12 schools in the United States and to remove the optional nature of foreign language instruction at the middle school level.
Descriptors: Middle School Students, French, German, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Second Language Learning, Second Language Instruction, Interviews, Age Differences, Statistical Analysis, Qualitative Research, Student Attitudes, Language Proficiency, Learning Motivation, Student Surveys, Language Tests, Scores, Educational Benefits, Oral Language, High School Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A