Teaching of international languages in New Zealand schools in years 7 and 8: An evaluation study Publications
The Ministry of Education provides support to teachers and students of International Languages Education in years 7 and 8 through: - regional advisers of International Languages - International Languages Series (ILS) Curriculum Materials - the Second Language Learning Proposals Pool, years 7-10. This research looks at the extent to which this support meets the languages learning needs of teachers, students and schools. It also provides a literature review of effective delivery characteristics for international languages and recommends ways that Ministry support can be strengthened.
Author(s): Colin Gibbs and Ron Holt, Auckland University of Technology. Report prepared for the Ministry of Education.
Date Published: 2003
A major Ministry of Education aim in ILE has been its extension to the pre-secondary level, particularly Years 7 and 8. This is evident from five major, overlapping initiatives commencing in the period 1995-2000. The present study is concerned with an evaluation of the last three of these.
- The impetus for such targeted funding initiatives by government stemmed from major curriculum and vision documents in 1993 and 1994 which sought by 2001, respectively, to achieve basic second language (L2) proficiency for 50 per cent, and two years' L2 learning experience for 100 per cent, of students by Year 10. A more realistic estimate of actual numbers in 2001, however, was around 25 per cent.
- Evaluations of five MOE initiatives discussed above were generally very positive in terms of programmes, delivery modes, empowerment of teachers in leadership or managerial IL roles and funding incentives. At the same time, however, significant disquiet was expressed concerning:
- teacher effectiveness
- lack of adequate learning time
- insufficient PD opportunities or time
- programme goal and organisation ambiguity
- poor continuity between the primary and secondary school sectors, and
- the value of so-called 'taster' courses.
The Telecom Distance Learning Project also threw up interesting relationships between school sector and locality, with secondary specialist language teachers being less positive about IL programmes in Years 7 and 8 than their generalist primary school colleagues. Urban teachers were also found to be generally more experienced in teaching IL than their rural counterparts. Further, it is important to note that the evaluations of the various initiatives were based on self-reports.
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