A longitudinal comparative study of the use of target language in the MFL classroom by native and non-native student teachers

Helen Aberdeen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

One of the key topics on any Modern Languages Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) course in the United Kingdom is the hotly debated issue of target language (TL) use. When and why do teachers use the TL in delivering lessons and when and why do they code switch into the learners' language? Does their practice change over time? Does it vary according to their learner experience? These are just some of the questions to have been explored in what is a much rehearsed debate. The issue is a challenging one for modern foreign language (MFL) course tutors, particularly in cases where practice in placement schools tends at times towards almost exclusive use of the first language. This paper begins with a closer look at the debate before presenting longitudinal research undertaken with four student teachers on a PGCE programme in 2012–2013. The research looked at attitudes and beliefs concerning participants' use of TL and also studied the functions for which they used TL most and least often. As the study was longitudinal, changes were noted. Differences between native speaker teachers and non-native speaker teachers were also observed throughout. The study, while not conclusive, yielded a number of interesting hypotheses which could form a valid basis for further larger scale research. They also have possible implications for the practice of teacher educators and for the delivery of MFL Initial Teacher Education programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-342
Number of pages14
JournalLanguage Learning Journal
Volume46
Issue number4
Early online date28 Sep 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2018

Keywords

  • native speakers
  • non-native speakers
  • target language
  • teacher education

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A longitudinal comparative study of the use of target language in the MFL classroom by native and non-native student teachers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this