27 SES 07 C, Issues in Foreign Language Didactics
The paper presents some characteristics of teaching foreign languages in Slovenia and 13 other European countries, which were included in the European survey on language competences (ESLC). The survey was conducted in the school year 2010/2011 and included about 53,000 students from 14 European countries. The study included students at the end of compulsory schooling (ISCED2) or at the beginning of secondary education (ISCED3), who had learned tested foreign language for at least one academic year prior to testing. In each country students were tested in two most widely taught foreign languages chosen among the five official languages of the European Union (English, German, Spanish, French and Italian). As part of the study students also completed a questionnaire about the foreign language home and school environment. Questionnaires about school foreign language environment were also completed by foreign language teachers who were also asked about some specific characteristics of their teaching. Approximately 5.000 teachers from all 14 participating countries were included in the survey.
In the paper we present teachers’ and students’ answers about different characteristics of their foreign language lessons. We focused on the use of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) in teaching a foreign language, frequency of the foreign language use (both by the teacher and by the students) during foreign language lessons, the amount of group versus individual work in the classroom and time spent for learning and homework at home. We investigate which of these factors relate to students’ foreign language achievements and compare students’ and teachers’ point of view on this issue. Our main research questions are:
- do teachers’ and students’ perceptions of foreign language lessons (use of ICT, use of foreign language, amount of group work) differ significantly
- does the use of ICT during foreign language lessons relate to student’s achievements in different countries
- does frequency of the foreign language use during foreign language lessons relate to student’s achievements in different countries
- does the amount of group versus individual work during foreign language lessons relate to student’s achievements in different countries
- does the amount of homework for foreign language lessons relate to student’s achievements in different countries
To summarize, the objective of the paper is to detect the characteristics of foreign language teaching that are positively related to students’ achievements in foreign language in most participating countries.
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