Harper, Felicity and Hamer, Melanie
Facilitating access to further languages: trialling materials combining parallel texts with reflective learning.
Language Learning Journal, 34(1) pp. 14–24.
This article reports on the practitioner research conducted by the English participants in a European Co-operation Programme project entitled Lateral Language Learning. The project was based on the belief that there is much that teachers of a first foreign language can do to prepare heir students to access other languages in the future, and, starting from this premiss, it aimed to develop resources for teachers to use in the classroom. In the English context, a college of further education, the researchers investigated the use of parallel texts within a reflective learning environment. An intitial set of materials using parallel texts in English, Spanish and Portuguese was devised and trialled with four students of A Level Spanish in order to explore how learners could use a parallel text in a related unknown language to identify rules or patterns of correlation and then use this knowledge to access the unknown language. From their observations and evaluation of the students' performance, the researchers drew up a set of principles to inform the design of a second set of aterials. These materials are offered as the basis for a second cycle of practitioner research, to be undertaken by teachers in their own teaching context, and are suitable for use with students learning any foreign language.
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