Turning the tide on disaffection with French? Analyzing secondary school pupils’ motivation to learn French: a comparison of CLIL and ‘traditional’ pedagogies in the KS3 classroom

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Abstract

Focus:
This presentation reports key findings from a comparative CLIL study involving 13–14-year-old learners in one selective and two non-academically selective secondary schools in Northern Ireland. A desire to improve pupil motivation was the reason given by all three participating teachers for their involvement in the study. In the words of one Key Stage 3 French teacher: “I frankly would do anything to try and keep an interest in languages.”
Research Approach/Innovation:
In each participating school, an intervention class engaged with a CLIL ecotourism module through French, whilst a comparator class continued to learn using the school’s regular scheme of work. For participating teachers and pupils, this was their first experience of a CLIL approach to language learning. Pre/post-intervention pupil questionnaires, teacher interviews and post-intervention pupil focus groups investigated the impact of CLIL and ‘traditional’ pedagogies on pupil motivation and progress.
Key Findings:
The findings highlight how current arrangements at GCSE pose a barrier to pedagogic and curricular innovation at Key Stage 3, creating tension between how teachers ‘want to’ and ‘have to’ teach. They provide evidence of deteriorating pupil motivation, but also point to aspects of CLIL pedagogy which pupils and teachers experience as enriching and worthwhile. The conclusion proposes a rethink of how languages are assessed at GCSE, suggesting that CLIL pedagogies offer a means of integrating language learning with other subject content, creating alternative pathways to a qualification in languages that are potentially open to a wider range of learners.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2023
Event4th Biennial International CLIL Conference 2023: Sustainability, Pedagogy and Social Justice - Institute of Educaiton Sheffield-Hallam University, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Duration: 16 Jun 202317 Jun 2023
https://www.shu.ac.uk/about-us/academic-departments/institute-of-education/events/clil-2023-sustainability-pedagogy-and-social-justice

Conference

Conference4th Biennial International CLIL Conference 2023
Abbreviated titleCLIL2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CitySheffield
Period16/06/202317/06/2023
Internet address

Keywords

  • CLIL
  • LANGUAGE LEARNING
  • education
  • language teaching

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