A Nuffield Foundation-funded research project, on which Professor Suzanne Graham served as a Co-Investigator, has found that reading challenging but engaging texts can play an important role in inspiring young secondary school students to learn French.
The two-year-long Foreign Language Education: Unlocking Reading (FLEUR) project, led by researchers at the University of Oxford’s Department of Education, took the form of a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT). Findings were drawn from data collected from a diverse sample of 36 schools across the country, with one Year 7 class from each school taking part.
Professor Graham said: “We know that students’ enthusiasm for language learning is closely linked to their confidence in working with the language. Changing the way we teach French reading is an important step towards nurturing that confidence and enthusiasm.”
One key practical implication of the study, according to the report, is for MFL teachers to consider adding more varied texts into the school MFL curriculum as this strategy could significantly improve the teaching of the subject, and potentially motivate students’ interest in MFL.
The full report of the project’s findings can be found here.
Professor Graham can be reached via Twitter here.