Growing Languages:MLTA Conference – Friday March 2013                                          Ken Cruickshank            ...
The context: Gap between policy and practice• 67 languages reports, reviews, policies since 1975•National Policy on Langua...
The context: Gap between policy and practice•NSW Year 12 languages enrolments down to 11% from 40% in1960s•compared with 2...
ARC Research Project• MaximisingAustralia’s Language Provisions: Exploring and Developing  Language Resources across Secto...
2011 /2012 Research – Stage 1 – Program Mapping› Stage 1 involved the mapping of languages programs across providers  and ...
2012 - Stage 2 – Survey of school staff› Stage 2 of the study focused on school staff. We wanted to find out what  attitud...
2013 – stage 3 – case studies of individual schools› Stage 3 involves case studies of individual schools. We will undertak...
2013/ 2014 – Stage 4 – Development of profiles› Stage 4, the final stage in 2014, involves the development detailed  langu...
SURVEY RESULTSLIMITATIONS - RESPONDENTS INTERESTED IN AND FAVOURABLE TOLANGUAGES CEO RESPONSES WERE 60.4% SECONDARY/ DEC 4...
School Staff – Languages Skills› Just under 50% of all staff reported speaking a language in addition to  English (note – ...
School staff – interest in learning languages› Three quarters of all school staff expressed interest in learning/ improvin...
Stage 2 - school staff survey› Do you think students should study a language other than English at  school?› Overall respo...
Attitudes to languages and language study                                        13
14
Dispelling some myths› Schools do not support the teaching of languages› Teachers strongly supported the role of schools i...
What makes for positive attitudes?› The most important factors were whether teachers were working in  schools in high numb...
SO WHAT?› The attitudes to languages and languages study are positive across school  sectors› The single key factor influe...
WHAT NEXT?› Role of data on school programs, uptake and non-uptake of  languages, changes, outcomes etc in informing polic...
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Ken Cruickshank - Research on Languages in NSW Schools

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Ken Cruickshank - Research on Languages in NSW Schools

  1. 1. Growing Languages:MLTA Conference – Friday March 2013 Ken Cruickshank Faculty of education and Social Work University of Sydney
  2. 2. The context: Gap between policy and practice• 67 languages reports, reviews, policies since 1975•National Policy on Languages is seen as ‘model’languages policy across OECD•25% of students come from bilingual/ biculturalbackgrounds•30% of state primary schools offer languages programs•64 languages are taught across educational sectors 2
  3. 3. The context: Gap between policy and practice•NSW Year 12 languages enrolments down to 11% from 40% in1960s•compared with 22% in Victoria and 50% in US/ UK;• No consistent or coherent collection of data – no idea of who islearning what language, where and how anywhere in Australia;•Group of Eight (2007) concluded ‘that if Australia discovereduntapped oil and gas reserves it would be considered foolish toignore them yet the government was ignoring its languageresources’. 3
  4. 4. ARC Research Project• MaximisingAustralia’s Language Provisions: Exploring and Developing Language Resources across Sectors, Schools and Communities• Aim: to explore the languages resources in schools and communities and the implications of these for programs, provisions and policies• Focus on ‘resources’ as the skills, attitudes, experiences and perceptions of schools and communities of languages, language use and language study.• Focus on demographic areas – Sydney and Wollongong to move beyond aggregated data and look at young people and classrooms in specific areas – cfMultilingual Cities Project• Focus on spaces between policy and school-level implementation• Pilot project 2009/10 in Canterbury and Auburn Local Government Areas looking at Turkish and Chinese language provisions and uptake 4
  5. 5. 2011 /2012 Research – Stage 1 – Program Mapping› Stage 1 involved the mapping of languages programs across providers and age groups looking at the gaps and overlaps› The aim was to collect existing data from systems and schools, data on the nature of programs – contact time, the aims and outcomes of programs etc.› These data can provide the basis and pressure for policy and programs› http://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/school/teachers/teachingreso urces/discipline/languages/lotereport2011.pdf› collection of data from system, diocese, region level› Follow-up survey of languages teachers in schools to gain specific information on contact time, nature of program and students 5
  6. 6. 2012 - Stage 2 – Survey of school staff› Stage 2 of the study focused on school staff. We wanted to find out what attitudes to languages and languages study school staff had; what experiences they had of language study and contact; what skills they had in languages and language teaching. It was basically a study of the resources in schools in a region of established languages programs and in a regional city with dispersed communities and less of a tradition of languages study.• Online survey of government, Catholic and Independent school staff inSydney Region – specific studies with Community Languages schools• Focus on attitudes to languages and languages study and then on theirown language/s proficiency 6
  7. 7. 2013 – stage 3 – case studies of individual schools› Stage 3 involves case studies of individual schools. We will undertake in depth studies in some 20 primary and secondary schools across sectors in Terms 2 and 3 this year.› Working with languages teachers – class observations› Informal interviews with school staff, principals› Focus group interviews with students and parents› Online survey of students› Other tools as appropriate› Why makes language programs successful in a school?› Why do students take up or not take up languages study?› Also to gain validity in stage 2 survey 7
  8. 8. 2013/ 2014 – Stage 4 – Development of profiles› Stage 4, the final stage in 2014, involves the development detailed language profiles that will inform models for assessment frameworks drawing on national and international models and linked to ACARA and state curriculum frameworks and documents.› Overreliance on curriculum to solve problems in languages› Drawing on work from Common European Framework, Europassand portfolio› Address issues of language status, continuity of study› Washback effect› Move beyond labelling of learners and clarify learner needs at different ages and levels 8
  9. 9. SURVEY RESULTSLIMITATIONS - RESPONDENTS INTERESTED IN AND FAVOURABLE TOLANGUAGES CEO RESPONSES WERE 60.4% SECONDARY/ DEC 46.6%1. INITIAL DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS AND THEN BI- AND MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS ALONG WITH CODING AND ANALYSIS OF QUALITATIVE RESPONSES 9
  10. 10. School Staff – Languages Skills› Just under 50% of all staff reported speaking a language in addition to English (note – Sydney Region/ also interested teachers). Main languages spoken were French (38.2%), Italian (24.2%), Greek (19%), Spanish (11.9%)› 41.8% of NON-languages teachers reported speaking a language (n=449). The main languages were French (32.1%), Italian (20.4%), Aisan languages (16.1%), German (14.4%).› Over three quarters of these non-languages teachers reported speaking the language very well or reasonably well› More staff in secondary schools than primary (83.9% vs 70.8%)› Staff more concentrated in high LBOTE schools (46.9% vs 31.2%)› 34.3% of staff had tertiary study in the language. 10
  11. 11. School staff – interest in learning languages› Three quarters of all school staff expressed interest in learning/ improving a language› The main choices were French (36.4%), Italian (36.3%), Chinese (34.3%), Spanish (31.3%) and Japanese (13.7%).› Overall positive attitudes. The inclusion of Chinese and Spanish is interesting – relating to geographic proximity and opportunities for travel and also perhaps cultural capital 11
  12. 12. Stage 2 - school staff survey› Do you think students should study a language other than English at school?› Overall response was positive – 90% agreed.› Written responses (n=926) The main reason given for study was intercultural skills, being global citizens, understanding and tolerance (57%)› Second in importance was cognitive skills and metalinguistic awareness (29%)› Career opportunities was third main category (16%)These responses conflict with most policy documents which often work from trade/ business issues 12
  13. 13. Attitudes to languages and language study 13
  14. 14. 14
  15. 15. Dispelling some myths› Schools do not support the teaching of languages› Teachers strongly supported the role of schools in teaching both home languages and languages for all students; the support for languages in secondary schools was stronger than support for community languages in primary› The curriculum is too crowded for languages› Less than 20% of teachers supported this› English first – English only› There was some support for ESL students learning English before languages other than English but the vast majority disagreed that language learning slows down learning of English. 15
  16. 16. What makes for positive attitudes?› The most important factors were whether teachers were working in schools in high numbers of LBOTE students and whether they themselves has study or skills in a language other than English: in other words exposure to and experience of languages/ languages education was the single most important factor;› Support for languages was higher in secondary than primary schools; higher in independent than government and Catholic schools;› Principals and executive staff were strongest in support of school role in developing home language and for the value of home language but least in support of home language study K-6;› School admin staff were least supportive of languages and most in support of English only 16
  17. 17. SO WHAT?› The attitudes to languages and languages study are positive across school sectors› The single key factor influencing positive factors is exposure to languages and languages study through home, study or workplace› There is a large reservoir of languages skills held by school staff (non- languages teachers);› The placement of these skills reflects the growing segmentation in the education systems with languages program being strongest in independent schools and community languages programs in government high LBOTE schools. 17
  18. 18. WHAT NEXT?› Role of data on school programs, uptake and non-uptake of languages, changes, outcomes etc in informing policy and programs› Importance of giving voice to school staff, students and parents in ‘growing’ languages› Linking into and drawing on international developments› - Common European Framework› - Initiatives in the US and UK› - Changes in travel and technology in families and communities – ieglobalisation 18

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