Early professional development and languages teaching in primary schools: case studies of teachers trained on an employment-based route

Thomae, Manuela and Griffiths, Vivienne (2013) Early professional development and languages teaching in primary schools: case studies of teachers trained on an employment-based route. Teacher Education Advancement Network Journal, 5 (2). pp. 69-85. ISSN 2054-5266

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Abstract

This article describes an Escalate-funded research project, which investigated the professional development of new primary teachers, trained on employment-based routes, in teaching modern foreign languages (MFL). Five universities in England providing the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) participated in our study. An online questionnaire assessed provision of training in modern foreign languages, and new teachers’ knowledge and experience (n=210). Follow up
interviews were carried out with 12 respondents and in-depth case studies were conducted in four primary schools. We found a basic proficiency in foreign languages (usually French) and generally low teaching confidence. The GTP training was evaluated favourably by almost all trainees,
although the languages input, one day at most, was considered insufficient. The case studies revealed that some school environments are supportive of modern foreign languages teaching and provide language-rich environments. This enabled GTP-trained teachers to develop their
professional expertise further. However, schools without a language-rich environment could inhibit this development. We conclude with some recommendations, especially relevant at a time when a new employment-based route, School Direct, is being introduced to take the place of the Graduate Teacher Programme.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Professional development; modern foreign languages; language teaching; primary schools; Graduate Teacher Programme; trainee teachers;employment-based routes; work-based learning.
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: L Education
Depositing User: Vivienne Griffiths
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2015 15:52
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 15:52
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/52545
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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Work-based learningUnsetHigher Education Academy/ESCalateUnset