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ERIC Number: EJ854583
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 46
ISSN: ISSN-0005-3503
20 Years of Transition with Not Much Continuity
Cunningham, Denis
Babel, v38 n3 p16-23, 38 Sum 2003-2004
Transition or continuity in language learning from primary to secondary schooling did not become an issue for action until the early 1980s. This raises the question of a definition of continuity, a term used variously. A simplistic view is the continuity of learning the same language. A deeper interpretation is pragmatic continuity in the strategies used and the content covered in learning a language through successive levels of schooling, especially ensuring fluid transition across potential stages of dislocation such as the primary-secondary interface. If the language learned at the primary level is not available to the student upon commencement of language learning at the secondary level, the notion of continuity in learning a specific language becomes redundant. On the other hand, continuity is also an issue at any "critical juncture point," which may include divisions between Years 10 and 11; between the lower, middle, and later years of schooling; at the secondary-tertiary interface; and so on. In this article, the author reviews the current issues in transition. Australia has had twenty years to identify successful strategies for continuity in learning languages from primary to secondary schooling. Still little has been accomplished. Perhaps, however, it is time to be more optimistic, while not ignoring reality. Twenty years on from the initial considerations of continuity as an issue in languages education, it is clear that continuity remains a challenge. The author expresses his belief that there will be a return to an emphasis on student learning and the identification of successful strategies that can be used to ensure that students attain specified proficiency goals.
Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations. Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Tel: +61-29351-2022; e-mail:; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia