Stepping up in modern foreign languages: professional development across the primary to secondary school transition

Burch, Cathy ORCID: 0000-0002-0046-728X and Vare, Paul ORCID: 0000-0003-3182-9105 (2020) Stepping up in modern foreign languages: professional development across the primary to secondary school transition. Language Learning Journal, 48 (5). pp. 613-627. doi:10.1080/09571736.2019.1642942

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The government funded two-year project, Stepping Up in Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), sought to align MFL teaching across the transition between primary and secondary schools. This paper describes the results of the project evaluation that was conducted using Cultural-historical Activity Theory as its research approach. This approach viewed the project as a system and enabled the identification of a number of contradictions within that system. The most significant finding is the impact of the project's participatory or 'bottom-up' approach. This involved MFL specialists from mostly secondary schools taking time to conduct needs analysis exercises with colleagues in primary schools and listening carefully to their concerns. This led to the development of bespoke training courses with programmes and materials being shared across the project via an online platform. A further analysis of the findings framed by the five significant dimensions of transition [Galton, M., J. Gray and J. Ruddock. 1999. The Impact of School Transitions and Transfers on Pupil Progress and Attainment. Cambridge: Homerton College. DCSF Research Report no. 131.] shows how the project's emphasis on building social capital, rather than specific teaching resources, facilitated progress in four out of the five dimensions. The paper concludes with a consideration of some implications for practice and policy level.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Modern languages; Primary education; Professional development; REF2021
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Society and Learning
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2019 16:47
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:43

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