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 Network Journal (TEAN), 5 (2). pp. 69-85.

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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 languagerich 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.

Keywords
Professional development; modern foreign languages; language teaching; primary schools; Graduate Teacher Programme; trainee teachers; employment-based routes; work-based learning.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Teacher Education Network Journal (TEAN)
Publisher: UniPress
Related URL(s):
Departments: Faculty of Education, Arts and Business > Institute of Education > Continuing Professional Development > Educational Research
Depositing User: Linda Shore
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2013 13:05
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2017 08:58
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/1458

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