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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details

 

Critical Factors in the Development of Language Learning Pathways: Implications for Language Learning

Paul Chesterton, Susi Steigler-Peters, Wendy K. Moran, Maria Teresa Piccioli.


This paper reports some key findings from an external evaluation of an innovative languages program in the Australian state of New South Wales. The program, entitled the Languages Continuity Initiative (LCI), was funded by the New South Wales Department of Education and Training and involved over 200 schools in its initial 1999-2002 period. The LCI was designed to improve student languages learning outcomes by promoting continuous sequenced language study pathways from primary to secondary schooling. This involved the provision of a specified number of hours for languages learning in each of four grades (Years 5 to 8), collaborative languages selection and programming across primary and secondary schools, and development and implementation of action plans by groups of linked schools.

The paper focuses on factors assisting and inhibiting development of sustainable continuous language study pathways and the implications of these for languages learning. The factors identified in the LCI evaluation include the extent of communication and co-operation among partner schools; establishment and acceptance of a coherent Year 5-8 curriculum; continuing access to, and funding for, appropriately qualified, skilled and committed teachers; and in-school support and commitment. The paper in turn relates these to the findings of a literature review conducted as part of the evaluation, and concludes with an examination of the impact of such factors on languages learning outcomes.

Presenters

Paul Chesterton  (Australia)
Academic Staff Development Co-ordinator
Academic Staff Development Unit
Australian Catholic University

Paul Chesterton is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Australian Catholic University, and the University's Co-ordinator of Academic Staff Development.  His teaching, research, and consultancy services are in the field of evaluation, with the consultancies including a number related to languages education in schools.  His work has included a focus on cross-cultural and ethical issues in evaluation and research, with particular emphasis on disadvantaged and minority groups.


Susi Steigler-Peters  (Australia)
Principal Education 0fficer
Languages Unit
Professional Support and Curriculum Directorate

Susi Steigler-Peters is Principal Education Officer with the Languages Unit of the NSW Department of Education and Training.

Ms Steigler-Peters is involved in developing and implementing policy and frameworks to invigorate and enhance language-learning opportunities for students K-12 in NSW. Her research experience includes leading the evaluation of the Languages Continuity Initiative (2002) and the evaluation of an online learning pilot (2001).

Ms Steigler-Peters is team leader for the Languages Continuity Initiative (LCI) team and project manager for a range of projects including:
* online learning for French & Indonesian
* the development of planning frameworks
* CD-ROM development
* the development of student assessment mechanisms
* the Language Teacher Training Initiative (LTTI)
* the Teaching Assistants program.


Wendy K. Moran  (Australia)
Lecturer in Education
Faculty of Education
Australian Catholic University

Ms Moran is a lecturer with the School of Education (NSW) at the Australian Catholic University and coordinates the Primary Field Experience programs for training teachers. Her areas of research are in Field Experience and Classroom Management. She is currently completing her PhD very slowly.


Maria Teresa Piccioli  (Australia)
Lecturer, Italian Curriculum and LOTE

Australian Catholic University

Maria Teresa Picccioli headed the Italian languages Section at Australian Catholic University till 2001.  At present she is lecturing in Italian Curriculum at ACU.
She has specialised in Linguistics (PhD) in the field of second language acquisition, bilingualism and LOTE methodology.  Her papers have been published in the Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, RILA and the "Annali" of Perugia University, in Italy.

Keywords
  • Languages
  • Pathways
  • Learning
  • School
  • Evaluation



(30 min Conference Paper, English)