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Provision of modern foreign languages for lower achievers and pupils with special educational needs in secondary schools in England, Scotland and the Czech Republic

McEachern-Kelly, Mary Clare (2008) Provision of modern foreign languages for lower achievers and pupils with special educational needs in secondary schools in England, Scotland and the Czech Republic. MLitt(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This study investigated the inclusion of all pupils in Modern Foreign Language (MFL) learning in secondary schools until 2004 in three countries: namely England, Scotland and the Czech Republic. The study aimed to explore how the educational systems in these three countries catered for lower achievers, including pupils with special educational needs (SEN) in the MFL learning environment in secondary schools. It was of particular interest to seek evidence from educational practitioners that showed which models of good practice and barriers to the integration of lower achieving pupils including those with SEN, could be found in the different educational systems in England, Scotland and the Czech Republic and then to discover what could be learned from the different systems. The study considered the influences that led to all pupils having the opportunity to learn a MFL in secondary schools up the end of compulsory education in each country involved in the study. The three chosen countries in this study had all experienced a great deal of change in terms of MFL teaching and learning and also in the field of SEN. Through an analysis of literature, the study outlined the developments that had taken place in recent years in MFL teaching and learning and in the field of special educational needs in the three countries. In order to understand the day-to-day practice in MFL classrooms, the study drew on evidence collected in sixty-four standardised open-ended interviews. Participants included Educational Advisers, Headteachers, Heads of MFL Departments, Principal Teachers and classroom teachers. Through the analysis of the data collected, the study attempted to make sense of the different points of view that were expressed during the fieldwork interviews. The data collected illustrated that there was a variety of provision for lower achievers, including pupils with SEN not only across each country but also within these countries and indeed across educational Authorities in certain countries. There was inequality of provision. Contradictory comments regarding the purpose and usefulness of MFL learning for all pupils up to the age of sixteen years, in secondary schools, highlighted the complexity of educational innovations. While there was evidence to suggest that the inclusion of all pupils in MFL learning up to the age of sixteen years old had been successful, it was clear that different influences had led to contrary suggestions that this success had been elusive. Despite the expression of extreme views for and against the situation, there was remarkable similarity in the general content of the teachers’ comments, indicating some convergence in thinking. Key factors and themes that influenced the process of the successful implementation of including all pupils up to the age of sixteen years in the MFL classroom were identified. Factors that hindered the process were also revealed.

Item Type: Thesis (MLitt(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Modern Foreign Language learning, lower achievers, special educational needs, secondary schools, England, Scotland and the Czech Republic.
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Chrichton, Mrs Hazel and Templeton, Mr Brian and McPhee, Dr Alastair and Baron, Prof Stephen
Date of Award: 2008
Depositing User: MRS Mary Clare McEachern-Kelly
Unique ID: glathesis:2008-218
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 21 May 2008
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:16
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/218

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