NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ856953
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-0957-1736
Continuity or a Fresh Start? A Case Study of Motivation in MFL at Transition, KS2-3
Bolster, Allison
Language Learning Journal, v37 n2 p233-254 Jul 2009
By 2010, all children at Key Stage 2 in England will be entitled to learn primary foreign languages (PFL); indeed PFL is now set to become part of the core primary curriculum. This policy is not uncontroversial. A number of studies have established the high levels of motivation that can be engendered among younger learners of modern foreign languages (MFL), but a major question addressed in this article concerns the extent to which such motivation can persist across the dislocations of school transfer, particularly in view of the possible difficulties of maintaining motivation for MFL over the longer term. Another uncertainty is how secondary teachers will adapt to the new arrangements, particularly with the inevitably multi-level intake into Year 7 at present. Continuity is regarded as essential for the maintenance of positive attitudes at cross-phase transfer, but certain studies indicate that it may be rare. How can primary and secondary teachers of MFL ensure continuity at transition? Could alternative models of PFL provision, based not on language competence but on language sensitisation, ease the problem? This is consistent with the perception held by some secondary teachers of MFL that some pupils might become "bored" by learning one language from primary through to secondary. Could a "fresh start" be the answer? This article reports the findings from a small-scale case study involving individual interviews of learners of MFL before, during and after transition in a secondary school where those with and those without early language learning experience were differentiated in Year 7 into two groups. Which group, if any, would turn out to be the more motivated: those with prior learning of PFL followed by continuity into secondary, or those who had started their new language in Year 7? The answers to these questions contribute to the present debate on how to effect continuity, and how to maintain motivation, at cross-phase transfer in MFL. (Contains 3 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)