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Teaching and Learning Languages – A Guide Angela Scarino and Anthony J Liddicoat Teaching and Learning Languages: A Guide is a key part of the Australian Government’s commitment to educating young Australians. The Government Teaching and recognises that the skills and knowledge necessary to communicate and work with diverse languages and cultures must be a core element of the Australian school curriculum. Learning Languages The Guide is designed to lead language education in new directions and to help create inspiring learning environments. It invites teachers of languages to think about the content, process and outcomes of their work in teaching, learning and assessment. It is a resource for reflecting on languages education, the role of languages teachers, and their programs and pedagogies in relation to contemporary A Guide educational understandings and contexts. The Guide presents recent work by members of the languages teaching profession, both teachers and researchers, based in classrooms, schools and universities. It pulls together the expertise that is available at a number of levels in this country in order to ensure an enriching language learning experience for all Australian students and to further develop Australia’s international potential and capability. The Guide is available, and is supported by additional materials, at www.tllg.unisa.edu.au Angela Scarino and Anthony J Liddicoat ISBN 978-1-74200-081-7 9 7 8 1 7 4 2 0 0 0 8 1 7Teaching and Learning Languages A Guide Angela Scarino and Anthony J LiddicoatTeaching and Learning Languages: A Guide was funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. ISBN: 978 1 74200 081 7 SCIS order number: 1393292 Full bibliographic details are available from Curriculum Corporation. Teaching and Learning Languages: A Guide is also available on the website www.tllg.unisa.edu.au Produced by Curriculum Corporation PO Box 177 Carlton South Vic 3053 Australia Tel: (03) 9207 9600 Fax: (03) 9910 9800 Email: infocurriculum.edu.au Website: www.curriculum.edu.au Statement © Commonwealth of Australia 2009 This work is copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for study or training purposes subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source and no commercial usage or sale. Reproduction for purposes other than those indicated above, requires the prior written permission from the Commonwealth. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to Commonwealth Copyright Administration, Attorney General’s Department, Robert Garran Offices, National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600 or posted at www.ag.gov.au/cca Disclaimer The views expressed in the publication do not necessarily represent the views of the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Printed by GEON Impact Printing Pty LtdForeword The Australian Government is committed to languages education in Australian schools and recognises the important role it plays in equipping young Australians with the knowledge, skills and capabilities to communicate and work with our international neighbours. The Government is making a substantial investment in Australia’s schools. The new National Education Agreement will provide 18 billion to the states and territories over the period 2009 to 2012, offering flexibility to target resources towards key areas such as languages education. The development of Teaching and Learning Languages: A Guide represents a key part of the Government’s commitment to support teachers in delivering quality language education programs for all young Australians. Learning a language should involve understanding how languages and cultures are a fundamental part of people’s lives. Teaching languages from an intercultural perspective improves the engagement and learning outcomes of students of languages in Australian schools. This Guide is a multi-modal package that is accompanied by a series of web-based materials which provide online practical examples of how the principles for developing intercultural language learning outlined in this Guide can be incorporated in language education. The online examples are drawn from the work of experienced language teachers who are working to implement new ways of teaching and learning in their classrooms. This Guide is a significant new resource for teachers, schools and communities, which can be used to create inspiring language learning environments. It will give students the opportunity to come to understand their own place in the world through their language learning, and will help them to use their learning to develop Australia’s economic, social and cultural relations in an increasingly globalised world. I commend this Guide and hope teachers will find it useful in their language teaching endeavours. Julia Gillard Minister for EducationAcknowledgments The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions of those who participated in the project to produce this Guide and the supporting online materials. Development of Teaching and Learning Languages: A Guide was funded by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations under the Australian Government’s School Languages Program (SLP). It supports some of the actions recommended in the National Statement for Languages Education in Australian Schools and the National Plan for Languages Education in Australian Schools 2005–2008 developed through the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) relating to the strengthening and promoting of quality teaching and learning practices and supporting the provision of high quality, ongoing and structured professional learning programs. The project was developed by the Research Centre for Languages and Cultures (RCLC) at the University of South Australia. Thanks to Jim Dellit for his editorial work on the Guide, and to Ari Bickley for the design. The Project Advisory Group Judy Gordon, Thomas Natera and Georgia Bray, representing the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) Joe van Dalen, representing the Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations (AFMLTA) Meredith Beck and Ghislaine Barbe, representing a non-government education jurisdiction Tamara Romans, representing a state/territory government education jurisdiction Jacqueline von Wersch, representing an ethnic/community languages school provider Ann Bliss, representing a national parents’ body The RCLC project team Associate Professor Angela Scarino (Project Director) Professor Anthony J Liddicoat (Project Director) Dr Jonathan Crichton Dr Timothy J Curnow Jim Dellit Michelle Kohler Kate Loechel Nives Mercurio Dr Anne-Marie Morgan Andrew Scrimgeour Dr Kazuyo TaguchiContents 1 Orientation of the Guide Purpose ............................................................................................................................. 1 Using the Guide ................................................................................................................. 3 Developing a personal, professional ‘stance’ ....................................................................... 4 Working with complexity and change ................................................................................. 5 Understanding contemporary contexts ............................................................................... 7 2 Language, Culture and Learning What is language? ........................................................................................................... 15 What is culture? ............................................................................................................... 19 Understanding learning .................................................................................................... 24 Understanding language learning ..................................................................................... 30 Intercultural language learning ......................................................................................... 33 3 Teaching and Learning Classroom interactions ..................................................................................................... 37 The nature of interactional language ................................................................................ 41 Tasks and task-types ......................................................................................................... 45 Student engagement ....................................................................................................... 49 The diversity of learners and their life-worlds .................................................................... 50 Scaffolding learning ......................................................................................................... 54 Technologies in language teaching and learning ............................................................... 55 4 Resourcing and Materials The purposes of resources ................................................................................................ 57 Selecting resources ........................................................................................................... 59 Authentic resources .......................................................................................................... 60 Adapting resources .......................................................................................................... 61 Contemporary resources ................................................................................................... 62Using resources critically ................................................................................................... 63 Relating resources to each other ....................................................................................... 64 Learners as resources ........................................................................................................ 65 Developing a resource bank.............................................................................................. 66 5 Assessing The purposes of assessment ............................................................................................. 67 The assessment cycle ........................................................................................................ 71 6 Programming and Planning Planning language programs ............................................................................................ 77 Long-term and short-term planning ................................................................................. 82 Planning interactions ........................................................................................................ 85 Personalising learning experiences .................................................................................... 85 7 Evaluating Language Programs Evaluation for program renewal ....................................................................................... 87 Evaluation in context ........................................................................................................ 88 Purpose and scope of evaluation ...................................................................................... 89 Evaluation as inquiry ........................................................................................................ 90 8 Developing a Professional Learning Culture Commitment to growth and development ........................................................................ 91 Creating a culture of professional learning ........................................................................ 92 Contexts of a professional learning culture ....................................................................... 93 Collaborating for a professional learning culture ............................................................... 95 ........................................................................................................................................ 98 9 Further Resources ...................................................................................................................................... 100 10 References1 Orientation of the Guide What is language? What is language? Purpose Purpose This Guide is a resource for languages teachers to use in reflecting on languages education, their role as languages teachers, and their programs and pedagogies in relation to contemporary educational understandings and contexts. It invites teachers to think about the content, process and outcomes of their work in teaching, learning and assessment. The Guide is based on recent work by members of the languages teaching profession: teachers and researchers based in classrooms, schools and universities. At times this Guide describes the field of languages teaching today generally; at times it describes actual practice in schools and in classrooms; and at times it reports on current research and thinking in languages education. At all times, it seeks to inspire members of our profession to challenge long-held beliefs about the teaching of languages with the intention of confirming their worth or changing them. 1A key message of this Guide is that teachers need to analyse their personal, professional teaching 'stance': the professional big-picture understanding and position they bring to their work which shapes their programs and pedagogies. This Guide encourages teachers to consider their stance and develop it with regard to: • professionalism and knowledge of education, teaching and learn ing • personal and professional experience and self -understandings • understandings of new and different contexts for students, teac hers and communities and their impacts on learning • contemporary understandings, including complexities and ambigu ities, of languages and pedagogy • the relationship of experience and past practices to new situations and new understandings as their stance develops and changes. None of our personal and professional beliefs, perspectives or commitments are ever static, and the Guide addresses those aspects that teachers think about when considering the development of a personal and professional stance. At the end of each section, there are questions to encourage consideration of these aspects in relation to stance and to invite teachers to make changes to their thinking and to the practices of their work. A key message of this Guide is that teachers need to analyse their personal, professional teaching stance: the professional big-picture understanding and position they bring to their work which shapes their programs and pedagogies. 2 Teaching and Learning Languages: A GuideUsing the Guide The Guide is supported by additional materials available at www.tllg.unisa.edu.au. These materials consist of a number of related resources designed to support teachers in developing a teaching stance and the practices that follow. Each section of this Guide is supported online with examples from classroom practice. The examples act as companion guides to the information provided in each section and present teaching activities in six languages. These online resources are provided as examples of what real teachers do when they are working in real contexts. They can be used for reflection on teaching, learning, assessment and evaluation. We know that teachers learn best from other teachers and so we encourage teachers to look across the sets of examples in all languages rather than just in languages they teach. The Guide does not purport to be a methodology manual, though the online examples of programs will enable languages teachers to relate ideas discussed in the Guide to their daily classroom practices. The nature of teaching and learning means that teachers are, by nature and necessity, professionals who think about their work with their particular students in their particular context, and who learn and change through thinking and reflecting on practice. This Guide provides an opportunity to engage with the increasingly sophisticated theoretical and practical work of language teaching and learning, and using languages for communication in increasingly diverse settings. Curriculum material has often come to teachers as prescriptive practices that they have been required to adopt and adapt. But teaching and learning are complex processes that require sensitive judgments and decisions to be made in context. Prescriptions do not necessarily work. For this reason, this Guide focuses on developing understanding and professional self-awareness rather than prescription (Pinar, 2003). It is a resource for members of the profession to use as they continuously consider their own experiences in light of the ideas discussed and their own classroom practice, and their own self-understanding as teachers, as part of the ongoing development of their personal, professional stance. Some teachers may wish to work through the Guide chapter by chapter on their own or with a group of colleagues. Others may just wish to work on particular aspects of their practice, though it is likely that working on one aspect of teaching and learning will naturally lead to a consideration of others, in an ongoing cycle of reflection. Orientation of the Guide 3Developing a personal, professional ‘stance’ kEy iDEAS • Stance describes the positions that teachers take toward their work as languages teachers and to their knowledge and pedagogies • A teacher ’s stance is both personal and professional • A teacher ’s stance changes and evolves over time and in response to changing contexts ‘Stance’ is a term adopted by Marilyn Cochran-Smith and Susan Lytle, researchers in education in the USA. They describe common understandings of stance, including body postures, political positions and the various perspectives that researchers and educators use to frame their questions, observations and reports. In our work, we offer the term … stance to describe the positions teachers and others who work together … take toward knowledge and its relationships to practice. We use the metaphor of stance to suggest both orientational and positional ideas, to carry allusions to the physical placing of the body as well as the intellectual activities and perspectives over time. In this sense, the metaphor is intended to capture the ways we stand, the ways we see, and the lenses we see through. Teaching is a complex activity that occurs within webs of social, historical, cultural and political significance … Stance provides a kind of grounding within the changing cultures of school reform and competing political agendas. (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999:288–289) 4 Teaching and Learning Languages: A GuideThe act of teaching and learning is intricate, not something that can be reduced to a few methodological prescriptions. Furthermore, the role of teachers is not one of simply receiving prescriptions from others that are subsequently ‘implemented’ in their context. Rather, teachers come to the act of teaching and learning with their own dynamic framework of knowledge and understanding of their own personal, social, cultural and linguistic make-up and that of their students. Their experiences, beliefs, ethical values, motivations and commitments are part of their framework of knowledge and contribute to their stance and identity as a teacher (Scarino 2007). In teaching, the teacher’s framework interacts with those of their students as they work together to develop new understandings. This framework is continuously evolving, based on our distinctive experience and reflection on that experience. It provides the frame of reference through which, in day-to-day teaching, teachers create learning experiences for students and interpret and make meaning of their learning. It is through this framework that teachers appraise the value of their own teaching and new ideas with which they might wish to experiment, to further develop or change their ways of teaching. In reading and working with the Guide, teachers will bring their own frameworks of understanding to make sense of their work. The ideas and understandings that follow are a way of contributing to the professional dialogue that teachers, as educators, have with themselves in developing a personal stance and with colleagues and others in developing a collective professional stance. Working with complexity and change kEy iDEAS • The nature, contexts and purposes of using language an d languages in our multilingual and multicultural world is increasingly complex and teachers need to work with this complexity • The key concepts that are central to teaching and learning languages are constantly evolving and need to be open to deeper understanding Our work as teachers of languages has always been complex and subject to change. In developing a contemporary stance, languages teachers must consider and respond to notions of complexity and change. Just as teaching cannot be reduced to methods or prescriptions, the key concepts of ‘language’, ‘languages’, ‘culture’ and ‘communication’ cannot, and should not, be reduced to something simple. Orientation of the Guide 5The nature, contexts and purposes of using language and languages for communication are increasingly complex and ever-changing in our multilingual and multicultural world where people use different languages and dialects for different purposes in a range of different contexts. The need to communicate (that is, create and exchange meanings with diverse peoples both within and across cultures, and use a variety of communication technologies) requires a sophisticated understanding and use of language and languages. Through the experience of communicating across cultures and reflecting on that process, people develop an intercultural capability and sensitivity. Developing such a capability means interpreting and exchanging meanings in the variable contexts of human communication and interaction, both within a particular language and culture, and across languages and cultures. It involves coming to understand the nature of the interrelationship of language, culture and learning and their connection to the meanings, practices and identities of communicators as fundamental to language use in its variable contexts. From an educational perspective, this means that the starting point in developing a stance for the teaching and learning of languages must be an expansive understanding of language(s), culture(s), their interrelationship and a process of communication that takes into account this variability. Theories and practices related to language teaching, learning and assessment are subject to constant inquiry and change. This means recognising that understanding these concepts, theories and practices, and developing/ changing a personal, professional stance, is a matter of ongoing professional inquiry. 6 Teaching and Learning Languages: A GuideUnderstanding contemporary contexts E k y iDEAS • Context of time and place influences purpose, shape and orientation of teachers' role in education • Changes in the context of education influence teachers' personal and professional stance • Globalisation has focused the importance of developing capabilities in languages-literacy-communication and intercultural engagement • Languages have a central role in Australian education because they mediate the interpretation and making of meaning among people • Advances in technology alter the way people use language, communicate and relate with each other, with information and with learning (especially the learning of languages) All educational thinking and discussion is set in a particular context of time and place that influences their purpose, shape and orientation. This section of the Guide explores: • some contextual understandings of our contemporary world • the changing educational landscape • Australia and the world of languages education as a means of considering the contemporary influences on our personal, professional stance. Orientation of the Guide 7Globalisation Globalisation, including the growth of a globalised knowledge-based economy has brought about unprecedented access to information, global conversations and relationships, and economic growth and, in some places, exploitation. The rapid movement of people, ideas and knowledge has highlighted the need to better understand the diverse nature of society, cultures and values. Globalisation has increased the diversity of teachers, students and community members engaged in education, in face-to-face and ‘virtual’ learning situations, who bring extraordinarily diverse histories, experiences, and backgrounds to learning. Australian educators are increasingly aware that knowledge is not made only in English, nor made available only in English. There is an increasing emphasis on the ‘internationalisation’ of education, which brings a variety of real and virtual interactions. The reality of globalisation has brought an increasing recognition that people in all spheres of life, and particularly in education, need to develop an intercultural capability, that is, being able to negotiate meanings across languages and cultures. It has also brought an increasing realisation that a capability in English only is insufficient, despite its status in the world, and that being a bilingual, or indeed multilingual, person has become the norm. Contemporary information and communication technologies have become integral to people’s lives, and increasingly mediate learning, knowledge and communication. They have altered the very way people relate with each other, with knowledge, with the economy and, most particularly, with learning. Languages have a central role in this context because they mediate the interpretation and making of meaning among people within and across languages. A changing educational landscape Recognising the linguistic and cultural diversity in our world doesn’t just mean giving a place to languages in the curriculum. It alters the very fabric of education, emphasising that languages are integral to the national curriculum and education as a whole. National collaboration sustains the diversity of languages formally taught and assessed in Australia and the recognition, nationally, of multiple purposes of assessment opens up the possibility of moving beyond a view of outcomes as levers of change to a focus on understanding and working with the complex interrelationship of teaching, learning and assessment. 8 Teaching and Learning Languages: A GuideLanguages education is an integral part of education in general. An intercultural orientation to education moves it from a monolingual to a multilingual phenomenon. Some points to note about the current educational landscape and understandings about learning are: • that learners, teachers and their relationships are central to languages learning as a ‘peopled’ activity (Candlin 1999) • that learning focuses on what learners with their distinctive linguistic, social and cultural profiles, experience, interests, desires, motivations and values bring to their learning environments and how that shapes their interactions with those learning environments • that teachers, with their schools and wider communities, create a culture of language learning and using in the classroom and beyond • that teachers need to come to know their students profoundly in their social, cultural, linguistic as well as cognitive diversity as the basis for developing and sustaining learning • that teachers need to have an expanded view of language, culture and the relationship between them • that teachers need to recognise that languages change, dependin g on the context in which you use them • that the act of teaching languages entails teachers and student s bridging home and peer cultures, as well as their cultural life in Australia and the cultures of the communities making connections between the language being learned. Australia – national initiatives in education A number of developments are taking place at policy and curriculum level that will influence languages education in distinctive ways. Much collaborative development has also taken place in languages education in recent times at a national level and further development is anticipated. Teachers of languages need to continue to engage with these developments and use them as a basis for reflection on their work in their particular contexts. Orientation of the Guide 9The new National Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, a pivotal declaration in Australian education was released in December 2008. Languages have been included as a key learning area in the National Declaration, agreed by Ministers of Education of all states and territories of Australia. In 2007, a report prepared by the states and territories of Australia stated that: … skills for future participation in society must include intercultural engagement, communication and understanding, recognising the diversity in the Australian workforce and the significant number of Australians employed in companies operating globally. (Council for the Australian Federation, 2007:17 – emphasis added) This report also, appropriately, includes languages among the learning areas that it proposes for all students. What is clear from the current context is that languages are integral to education in general and, as such, should continue to be an essential part of the learning experience of all students in Australian education. Another dimension of the changing educational landscape in Australia is the contemporary work on a national curriculum resulting from collaboration between the states and territories and the Commonwealth and supported by the establishment of a National Curriculum Board. Languages have been highlighted as one of the areas to be considered in early discussions in this context. National collaboration is a key feature of languages education in Australia and has always been based on a national desire to harness the full range of linguistic expertise available across all states and territories and to share the load in extending the range of languages offered. One of the most distinctive accomplishments of languages education in Australia is that through collaboration nationally, across sectors and across states, and through a range of providers and technologies, the educational systems continue to offer a range and diversity of languages at different levels (beginners, continuers, background speakers) that are formally taught and assessed at upper secondary level (Mercurio and Scarino, 2005). The commitment to continuing to sustain and develop this degree of diversity is fundamental. 10 Teaching and Learning Languages: A GuideAt a policy level, this has been achieved through policy statements such as the National Policy on Languages (Lo Bianco, 1987); the Australian Language and Literacy Policy (Department of Employment, Education and Training, 1991); the report: Asian languages and Australia’s economic future (Council of Australian Governments, 1994) and its accompanying National Asian Languages and Studies in Australian Schools (NALSAS) strategy. Most recently, at a policy level, national collaboration across states, territories and the Commonwealth has centred on the National statement for languages education in Australian schools and the National plan for languages education in Australian schools 2005–2008 (Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, 2005). At a curriculum level, there is a longstanding history of national collaboration which began with the publication of the Australian Language Levels (ALL) Guidelines (Scarino, Vale, McKay & Clark, 1988), and continued with collaborative, national curriculum development in four specific languages (Italian, Chinese, Indonesian and Japanese); national collaboration at senior secondary level, through the National Assessment Framework for Languages at Senior Secondary Level (NAFLaSSL); and the Collaborative Curriculum and Assessment Framework for Languages (CCAFL). A further highly significant, national collaborative development was Australia’s Indigenous Languages Framework (SSABSA, 1996a, 1996b). Since 2005, national collaboration has continued predominantly in the areas of research and professional development through national level projects funded by the Australian Government through its School Languages Program. These projects include work in investigating the state and nature of language learning in schools, teacher education, investigating Indigenous languages programs, the promotion of language learning, improving the national coordination and quality assurance of languages programs in after-hours ethnic schools, leading languages and implementing professional standards. In addition, a large professional learning project, the Intercultural Language Teaching and Learning in Practice (June 2006 – December 2007), was funded under the Australian Government Quality Teaching Program to allow teachers to learn about intercultural language learning and conduct classroom-based investigations incorporating this orientation towards language teaching and learning (www.iltlp.unisa.edu.au). National initiatives in assessment have recognised that assessment serves multiple purposes, only one of which is the reporting of learning outcomes. Additionally and fundamentally, assessment provides information that teachers, parents and other interested parties need to improve students’ learning (assessment for learning). This usability of assessment information to improve student learning depends on richness and quality which entails much more than simply articulating outcomes. These two purposes of assessment can no longer be seen as separate. Rather, they are both a part of the complex interrelationship of contemporary teaching, learning and assessment processes. Orientation of the Guide 11Our profession has identified assessment and reporting of languages learning as a priority in our own further professional learning. As languages education emerges from the era of outcomes framed exclusively in terms of the typical curriculum development categories (ie skills, discourse forms, tasks, linguistic features, etc), there is increasing emphasis on the ultimate value of learning languages; that is, what is it that learners should/can take away from an experience of learning their particular language? For over a decade, the focus of educational systems has been on prescribing curriculum and assessment requirements. What is needed now is a shift towards understanding how the complex processes of curriculum design, teaching, learning and assessment actually work in particular contexts. Early childhood and primary education The focus, at a national level, on early childhood education and the centrality of the primary years involves discussion about important learning experiences for all young children. Languages will need to be part of this discussion, recognising both the range of languages that children bring to education and the need to expand the integrated language-literacy-and-communication repertoires of all students. In the past two decades, there has been a major increase in languages learning in the primary setting and this remains an important area for development. Central role of teachers Research highlights the central role of teachers in students’ learning. At a national level, there has been an important recognition of the central role that teachers play in students’ learning. The teachers’ charter released by Teaching Australia in 2008 describes the complex professional, social and ethical role of teachers. The Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers’ Associations (AFMLTA), the major professional body for the language teaching profession, has developed professional standards for the accomplished teaching of languages (Kohler, Harbon, McLaughlin & Liddicoat, 2006; Liddicoat, 2006). The AFMLTA’s statement of standards recognises both the value, and the professional and ethical responsibilities, of language teachers. The overarching standard is described as follows. 12 Teaching and Learning Languages: A Guide

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