An investigation of approaches to the teaching and learning of English as a second language in early years settings.

Withey, Linda (2013) An investigation of approaches to the teaching and learning of English as a second language in early years settings. PhD thesis, University of Bolton.

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Abstract

The numbers of children in primary education (UK) who have English as a second or additional language is increasing, to the point that in some areas English speaking pupils are in the minority (Guardian 2013). How such children are being taught English language skills became the impetus for the research. The focus of the study is on examining, the effectiveness of differing approaches to the teaching of English as a second language, the role of second language learner support, and the strategies used to communicate effectively with parents. This is a longitudinal study conducted over a three year period, as it follows a cohort of children from reception to year 2. In participation were 5 primary schools, 15 members of staff, around 150 children and 100 parents. The methodology involved the observation of children, and staff; interviews with staff; focus groups with parents; an analysis of national policy and literacy initiatives. The findings revealed that across different schools the common feature was for the class teacher to take overall responsibility for the planning and implementation of strategies for teaching English. The role of support staff varied depending on the cultural make-up of the school. One significant difference was the extent to which creativity was employed in teaching; this was one factor that appeared to have the greatest impact on successful outcomes. The role of adult learner support was inconsistent, as was the opportunity for children to engage in peer tutoring with those who spoke English as their first language. All settings set out to establish strong links with parents, and acted in response to local needs. The major implications of the study are on the need to address issues of cultural awareness, and specific second language teaching as part of both initial and in service training for teachers; the training of bi-lingual support workers needs to be more rigorous. One very clear aspect emerging from the study is the difference between schools and, therefore the educational experiences of children.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Thesis submitted in part fulfillment of the requirements of the University of Bolton for the degree of Ph.D
Divisions: School of Education and Psychology > Education
University of Bolton Theses > Health and Well Being
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2015 14:23
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2015 14:23
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/652

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