Suzanne Graham from the University of Reading spoke at the Herts for Languages Primary Leaders of Languages Conference on 30 November on ‘Progress and Preparedness in Primary Languages- issues of teaching and assessment’.
The talk addressed the question of assessment for Primary Languages by giving summary findings from a longitudinal research project conducted with over 250 learners of French, following them from Year 5 through to Years 6 and 7. It explored the impact of two different teaching approaches, and other school-related factors, on the development of learners’ knowledge of French grammar and vocabulary across the three years, as well as on their motivation and self-efficacy for learning French. The implications of the study for the teaching and assessment of Primary languages, as well as for transition, were also discussed.
Suzanne then went on to explain how The Language Magician, a computer game assessment tool, followed on from the project. She reported findings on how learners across England, Spain, Italy and Germany have reacted to the game, which has been tested across the four countries with 3437 learners with different levels of attainment and aged between 7 and 14. A questionnaire completed by learners after playing the game showed high levels of enjoyment in playing it and a belief that it told them how well they were doing in the language in question. Levels of positivity about the game were not related to age, and only weakly related to learners’ scores on the game, suggesting that it appealed to both older and younger learners and across the attainment range.
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Report by Suzanne Graham