20 SES 05, Cooperative Learning and Conceptual Change and Lanugage Learning Spaces and Drawing as a Research Tool in Language Learning
The qualitative mixed methods study investigates foreign language integrated learning in the Austrian primary school classroom. Pupil drawings are a main source for analysis and contribute to the findings concerning:
i. Education statement policy and classroom practice.
ii. Linguistic theory and knowledge in relation to what is taking place in the classroom.
The research question is divided into five subareas involving how the language learned is integrated into the general curriculum in relation to:
1. Does it replace general curricula content?
2. What type of teaching methodologies and strategies are in use during the lessons?
3. What are teachers` lesson planning procedures for English integration?
4. What are the teaching aims?
5. How do pupils` perceive the lessons?
The research required consideration of both the context and the participants and aligned three perspectives: context, teachers and pupils. From the contextual perspective, government legislation and guidance, teacher training institutions, and school management are significant. They influence some aspects of the individual teachers’ competences and attitudes, which in turn affect her or his teaching goals, lesson planning, time allocated to English and other subjects, and choice of classroom activities. The other key participants are the children themselves and their perspective on their FL integration lessons.
Investigation of the lessons from the pupils’ perspectives required a data collection tool that would enable the young learners' to easily communicate their understanding, perceptions and knowledge where their verbal and written skills were not yet sufficiently developed. Drawings were an appropriate choice, as research studies have shown that they can provide an alternative means of representation and communication ( Rabey, 2003).
Brinton, D., Snow, M. and Wesche, M. (eds) (2003) Content-Based Second Language Instruction, Michigan, The University of Michigan Press. Bruner, J.S. (1983) Child's Talk: Learning to Use Language, New York, Norton. Coyle, D., Hood, P. and Marsh, D. (eds) (2010) CLIL Content and Language Integrated Learning, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Dalton-Puffer, C. and Nikula, T. (2006) ‘Pragmatics of content-based instruction: teacher and student directives in Finnish and Austrian classrooms’, Applied Linguistics, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 241–67, Oxford University Press. Halliday, M.A.K. (1994) An Introduction to Functional Grammar, 2nd edn, London, Edward Arnold. Kress, G. and van Leeuwen, T. (1996) Reading Images. The Grammar of Visual Design, London, Routledge. Rabey, K. (2003) ‘Thinking aloud. Looking at children drawing in response to picture books’, in Arizpe, E. and Styles, M. (eds) Children Reading Pictures. Interpreting Visual Texts, London, Routledge Falmer. Vygotsky, L.S. (1978) Mind in Society, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press.
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