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ERIC Number: EJ833131
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-0957-1736
Vocational Options: The Impact of a Vocational Context on Teaching and Learning Modern Foreign Languages at Key Stage 4
Allen, Francoise; Davies, Beatrice
Language Learning Journal, v37 n1 p51-70 Apr 2009
In the light of recommendations made by the Tomlinson and Dearing reports, this article explores the distinctive contribution that vocational language courses can make to the language learning experience of secondary-school pupils. It starts by presenting an overview of vocational options currently on offer to stem the disaffection with modern foreign languages (MFL) experienced by many 14-16 year olds in the United Kingdom. It goes on to review the debate, past and present, about vocational language learning, drawing on relevant literature. The impact on pupil motivation and pedagogy is then examined in the light of data collected from pupil questionnaires and interviews with staff and pupils currently working with the Edexcel General Certificate in Secondary Education (GCSE) in Applied French in a large outer-London comprehensive. The use of a work-related context, the role of information and communication technology, the emphasis on speaking and writing skills, along with the scope for development of cultural knowledge and social skills are discussed in relation to this small-scale research. The authors identify some of the challenges involved in bringing out the full potential of such courses but conclude that they can provide a distinctive and motivating learning experience, even if they fall short of being as radically different as they aspire to be. At the very least, early findings are that they may be a useful tool for stimulating the take-up of MFL as they are perceived as relevant to the aims of the target learners and provide them with suitable challenges. (Contains 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom; United Kingdom (London)