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Use of the mother‐tongue in second language classrooms: An experimental investigation of effects on the attitudes and writing performance of bilingual UK schoolchildren

Garrett, Peter Donald, Griffiths, Y., James, C. and Scholfield, P. 1994. Use of the mother‐tongue in second language classrooms: An experimental investigation of effects on the attitudes and writing performance of bilingual UK schoolchildren. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 15 (5) , pp. 371-383. 10.1080/01434632.1994.9994578

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Abstract

Controversy continues to surround the use of the mother‐tongue in second language classrooms. While some argue that learning a second language is like learning the first, and that the mother‐tongue therefore has no place, others claim it has an important and positive role to play. The study reported here was conducted in primary schools in two different UK bilingual settings: North Wales (Welsh/English) and Lancashire (Mirpur Punjabi/English). During a three‐month experimental period, teachers did parallel pre‐writing activities with comparable pairs of classes. Some classes had Punjabi or Welsh (the mother‐tongue) as the language of their pre‐writing activity, and the others had English (the second language). Pre‐ and post‐tests included writing tasks and an attitude inventory. Although some of the attitudes (to writing, self, ethnic identity, school, and Britain) grew significantly more favourable in the mother‐tongue groups over this period, these changes were not matched by any recorded improvements in writing performance, where there were some signs that the second language preparation was the more beneficial.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0143-4632
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:30
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/96126

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