Language Development Theory

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CHAPTER 2 2.0 INTRODUCTION Language development happens both inside the classroom (as part of a formal establishment, school or institute) and outside it. The classroom is generally considered a formal setting, and most other environments informal, with respect to language learning. “In environments where informal language development is adequate, it is possible to regard the formal classroom as supplemental, complementary, facilitating and consolidating”(Van Lier, 1988: 20). For second-language development in such environments the informal settings can be regarded as primary and the formal classroom as ancillary. The L2 lesson then becomes a language arts lesson, focusing on special language skills and cognitive/academic growth, much in…show more content…
Calderhead (1996) argues that there are five main areas in which teachers have been found to hold significant beliefs – beliefs about learners and learning, teaching, subjects or curriculum, learning to teach, and about the self and the nature of teaching – and he notes that these five areas are closely related and may well be interconnected. In fact, beliefs could be as varied as teaching itself and reflect issues related to learners (e.g., beliefs about inclusion, about diversity), knowledge (epistemological beliefs), teaching components (beliefs about the curriculum, beliefs about what learning content is important, beliefs about media (ICT), teaching strategies, evaluation, etc.), parents, instructional context, and organisational dimensions. These classifications, rather than being disconnected dimensions acting in isolation, tend to be organised into a logical and co-dependent belief system or orientation. Beliefs and belief systems are used for understanding the personal and characteristic nature of a teacher’s practice. Such a framework proposes that beliefs can be classified in terms of the personal or the role of a teacher (Calderhead…show more content…
• Freeman’s (1993) longitudinal study of four high school French and Spanish teachers in the USA reported how a master’s degree impacted on in-service teachers’ beliefs with some evidence of behavioural change. • Sendan and Roberts (1998) report on how over the course of 15 months a trainee’s personal theories of effective teaching had altered, by the addition of constructs to his existing belief system and the reorganisation of existing constructs. • Cabaroglu and Roberts (2000) used a sequence of three in-depth interviews to analyse the processes of belief development in 20 PGCE Modern Languages students in Britain. They found that only one trainee’s beliefs remained unchanged during the programme, and attribute the success of belief change to getting the trainees to confront their pre-existing beliefs early on in the
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