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Talking Classrooms -Interim findings from a classroom-based enquiry exploring the relationship between input, interaction and spontaneous talk in the primary classroom.

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ewa Illakowicz.

During this academic year, Bernardette has been working on a classroom-based enquiry called Talking Classrooms. The study overall will demonstrate how 5 primary teachers have engaged with research methodology to evaluate and transform their practice. This has involved discourse analysis of interaction language from the classroom, pre-testing of children’s understanding of frequently used language and the introduction of fresh input methodology with a view to exploring the extent to which controlled teacher input can affect spontaneous use of language from the children. The participating teachers are using audio recordings with selected transcription to capture critical incidents where children have either used memorised chunks of language in context to express emotions or needs or have attempted to deconstruct and reconstruct teacher language to create fresh meanings. Her talk will present the interim findings from the first phase. Bernardette will also refer to the findings of the KS2 Longitudinal Study (Cable et al 2010) drawing particular attention to creative reconstruction.

Biography Bernardette Holmes is currently Director of Languages First at the Language Centre of the University of Cambridge, promoting and developing innovative language teaching programmes for teachers of languages in all phases and sectors across the East of England. Bernardette is known to be a dynamic and inspiring teacher. Throughout a long career as adviser, inspector, teacher trainer and researcher, she has made a major contribution to languages education in England. She advised and worked on the guidance for the original National Curriculum orders, and has played a significant role in such key areas as Assessment, Autonomy, Languages for All, the use of the Target Language and CLIL . Since the introduction of the National Strategy, she has overseen development of the Key Stage 2 Framework for Languages and played a central role in articulating both the pedagogy and support structures needed for coherent language learning in primary and secondary schools. She believes strongly in practice-led research and in the importance of links between universities and schools.

Before joining the Language Centre, Bernardette worked closely with Professor Rosamond Mitchell at the University of Southampton where she was centrally involved in monitoring linguistic progression in the primary classroom as part of the DCSF funded Longitudinal Study of Languages in Key Stage 2, Cable et al 2010. Bernardette is President Elect of the Association for Language Learning.

This talk is part of the Second Language Education Group series.

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