Teaching L2 English at a very young age: a study of Dutch schools

Author: Vanessa Ruth Lobo
LOT Number: 328
ISBN: 978-94-6093-110-9
Pages: 255
Year: 2013
€33.00
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Teaching L2 English at a very early age : a study of Dutch schools Research on the question what is the best age for second language ( L2 ) acquisition does not wholly support the belief the earlier , the better . Yet the link between an early start and a superior language learning outcome has frequently been used to justify implementing early L2 learning in primary education . The present longitudinal study has investigated the credibility of this claim by examining the effect of a CLIL approach on first and third graders attending seven Dutch primary schools . Children were taught art and crafts or physical education using English as the exclusive medium of instruction . In addition to analysing children’s linguistic development and documenting their ( first ) foreign language experience , classroom interaction was studied . The inclusion of parents and teachers in the study also provides important data about their attitudes and opinions towards early L2 learning in primary education . Can the Dutch early bird catch the worm ? The present study confirms this question . However , it also provides important evidence distinguishing the younger from the older child , leading to a new notion of the later , the better . This thesis will be of interest to researchers studying the unique , initial stages of L2 acquisition in classroom contexts . Its practical research design will be equally interesting to policy makers , practitioners and parents who wish to learn more about the outcomes of L2 learning in ( Dutch ) primary schools .

Teaching L2 English at a very early age : a study of Dutch schools Research on the question what is the best age for second language ( L2 ) acquisition does not wholly support the belief the earlier , the better . Yet the link between an early start and a superior language learning outcome has frequently been used to justify implementing early L2 learning in primary education . The present longitudinal study has investigated the credibility of this claim by examining the effect of a CLIL approach on first and third graders attending seven Dutch primary schools . Children were taught art and crafts or physical education using English as the exclusive medium of instruction . In addition to analysing children’s linguistic development and documenting their ( first ) foreign language experience , classroom interaction was studied . The inclusion of parents and teachers in the study also provides important data about their attitudes and opinions towards early L2 learning in primary education . Can the Dutch early bird catch the worm ? The present study confirms this question . However , it also provides important evidence distinguishing the younger from the older child , leading to a new notion of the later , the better . This thesis will be of interest to researchers studying the unique , initial stages of L2 acquisition in classroom contexts . Its practical research design will be equally interesting to policy makers , practitioners and parents who wish to learn more about the outcomes of L2 learning in ( Dutch ) primary schools .

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