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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31855

Title: A Case Study of Compact Core French Models: A Pedagogic Perspective
Authors: Marshall, Pamela
Advisor: Lapkin, Sharon
Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Keywords: Core French
Second Language
Compact Language Models
Issue Date: 10-Jan-2012
Abstract: The overriding objective of core French (CF) teaching in Canada since the National Core French Study (NCFS) is that of communicative competence (R. Leblanc, 1990). Results from the traditional form of CF, though, suggest that students are not developing desired levels of communicative competence in the drip-feed (short daily periods) model (Lapkin, Harley, & Taylor, 1993). The present study aims to investigate the role of compacted second language program formats in promoting higher levels of language proficiency and achievement among elementary core French students; in particular, the study investigates the pedagogic approach, based on the principle that longer class periods should facilitate a more communicative/ experiential teaching approach. Students in three Grade 7 classes served as participants. Two of the classes served as the compacted experimental classes, and the other as a comparison class. Pre-tests, immediate post-tests and delayed post-tests recorded differences in student achievement. A multi-dimensional, project-based curriculum approach was implemented in all three classes, and was recorded by teacher observations in her daybook and daily journal. Student attitudes toward their CF program format and their self-assessed language proficiency were measured during recorded focus group sessions and on student questionnaires. Parental and teacher perceptions of student attitudes were measured using a short survey. Results indicate that students in both the compact and comparison classes performed similarly, with few significant differences in measured language growth or retention over time. Parents of all classes indicated satisfaction with the teaching and learning activities, and with the program format in which their child was enrolled. Excerpts from the teacher daybook and reflective journal demonstrated that communicative activities fostering student interaction in the target language were more frequently and readily implemented in the longer compact CF periods. Students generally stated a preference for the program format in which they were enrolled, although only students in the compact classes outlined pedagogic reasons in support for their preference. Additionally, most students self-assessed a higher level of language competence than in previous years, which students in the compact (experimental) classes attributed to the longer class periods, stating that they promoted task completion, group work, in-depth projects and communicative activities.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31855
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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