This project will investigate the popular belief that young children are better at learning foreign languages, and are more like children learning their mother tongue than like older foreign language learners. The empirical evidence for this belief is at best ambiguous.

This project will:

  • provide similar French language teaching to three groups of 20 learners in the North East of England (with starting ages of 5, 7 and 11 years respectively). This will be delivered in an age-appropriate manner and through a fully-qualified teacher following national schemes of work for primary languages.
  • document and analyse linguistic development and the language acquisition process in these 3 groups of learners,  and identify similarities and differences between the three different starting ages;
  • compare rates of development at different ages after the same amount of classroom exposure;
  • document and compare the classroom learning strategies used by children at different ages and their attitudes to language learning
  • through this evidence, contribute to theoretical understandings about the role of age in second language acquisition among young learners, and consequently inform current primary language initiatives and educational practices in the UK and internationally.

 



The role of age in instructed L2 learning : comparing 5, 7 and 11 year olds

Author: Florence Myles Date: 08 June 2012 Seminar/workshop

Year 3 French : role play "in the café"

Speaker: Rosamond Mitchell Date: 24 April 2012 Dissemination / Communication

Age and foreign language learning

Speaker: Florence Myles Date: 24 April 2012 Dissemination / Communication

Classroom interaction and the use of gesture

Speaker: Rosamond Mitchell Date: 24 April 2012 Seminar/workshop

The younger the better? : foreign language learning in the primary

Interviewee: Florence Myles Date: 24 April 2012 Dissemination / Communication

Teacher gesture in early L2 vocabulary learning

Author: Rosamond Mitchell Date: 24 April 2012 Presentation/lecture

Learning French from ages 5, 7 and 11 : an investigation

Author: Rosamond Mitchell Date: 24 April 2012 Presentation/lecture

Transcribing L2 corpora

Author: Sarah Rule Date: 23 April 2012 Seminar/workshop

Is younger really better? : a comparison of 5, 7 and 11 year olds learning French in the classroom

Author: Florence Myles Date: 23 April 2012 Presentation/lecture

Comparing 5, 7 and 11 year olds learning French in the classroom in the UK

Author: Florence Myles Date: 23 April 2012 Seminar/workshop

Débuter le français à 5 ans, 7 ans ou 11 ans : le role de l’âge dans l’apprentissage d’une langue étrangère en milieu scolaire

Author: Florence Myles Date: 23 April 2012 Presentation/lecture

Learning French from ages 5, 7 and 11 : an investigation into starting ages, rates and routes of learning amongst early foreign language learners

Author: Florence Myles Date: 23 April 2012 Presentation/lecture

Learning French from ages 5, 7 and 11 : an investigation into starting ages, rates and routes of learning amongst early foreign language learners

Author: Florence Myles Date: 23 April 2012 Presentation/lecture

Learner corpora and SLA theory

Author: Florence Myles Date: 15 September 2011 Conference paper/presentation

L2 corpora and second language acquisition research

Author: Florence Myles Date: 08 September 2011 Conference paper/presentation

Receptive lexical knowledge in beginner learners of French : a corpus-based study of 5, 7 and 11 year olds

Author: Annabelle David Date: 08 September 2011 Conference paper/presentation

Teacher gesture in the L2 classroom and its role in L2 vocabulary acquisition : a corpus based study

Author: Rosamond Mitchell Date: 08 September 2011 Conference paper/presentation

Impact of starting age on learning outcomes : a comparison of language learning by children aged 5, 7 and 11

Author: Florence Myles Date: 23 August 2011 Conference paper/presentation

The place of gesture in classroom language learning and teaching

Author: Rosamond Mitchell Date: 16 August 2011 Conference paper/presentation

Classroom interaction and foreign language learning

Author: Rosamond Mitchell Date: 15 August 2011 Conference paper/presentation

The place of gesture in second language acquisition : theoretical issues and methodological implications

Author: Rosamond Mitchell Date: 15 June 2011 Conference paper/presentation

The role of teacher gesture in early L2 vocabulary learning

Author: Rosamond Mitchell Date: 26 March 2011 Conference paper/presentation

Input and interaction in early language learning : a corpus of based study of 5 and 7 year olds learning French

Author: Rosamond Mitchell Date: 08 July 2010 Conference paper/presentation

Learner corpora and second language acquisition

Author: Florence Myles Date: 18 June 2010 Conference paper/presentation

Start date
30 September 2009
End date
29 September 2011
Grant holder
Professor Florence Myles
Co-applicants
Professor Rosamond Mitchell
Grant amount
£273,781.12
Grant reference
RES-062-23-1545
Discipline
Linguistics (General)
Linguistics
Grant type