Attitudes and motivation towards learning French in primary school
The role of developmental changes between the ages of 5 and 7
Young children have often been shown to be highly motivated towards learning foreign languages in primary school, but for their enthusiasm to decrease during secondary schooling. Many reasons have been put forward, such as novelty wearing off, teaching styles, or societal and peer pressure. Little is known about changes in attitudes and motivation in primary school aged children when these factors are kept constant, the only variable being the age of the children. The present study investigated differences in attitudes and motivation at two different ages (5 and 7) in such a setting. Two intact classes in the same school (53 children with no prior knowledge of French), taught the same material by the same teacher, took part in focus groups and one-to-one interviews during the course of a larger longitudinal project investigating the role of age in early classroom learning. Results show that changes in motivation might occur earlier than previously thought, and be shaped by developmental changes in children’s cognitive, social and emotional growth. Children as young as 5 and 7 were shown to exhibit differences in levels of self-regulation, self-efficacy, and thought and beliefs frames which had a direct impact on their attitudinal and motivational profiles.
- 2.1Attitudes and motivation – conceptual issues
- 2.2Attitudes and motivation in young FL learners
- 3.The study
- 3.2Study design
- 3.3Data analysis
- 4.1.1Attitudes towards learning French
- 4.1.2Attitudes towards French children
- 4.2.1Is it useful to learn French?
- 4.2.2Continuing with learning French
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