Language research, language curriculum and language teaching.

Year: 1998

Author: Nicholas, Howard R

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper explores the ways in which research-derived knowledge has been both incorporated and ignored in the process of developing and implementing curriculum and assessment frameworks in the area of languages other than English in Victoria. The implementation of a requirement for languages other than English to be rapidly introduced in all schools has meant that insights into key requirements for quality language programs have been overlooked. The acknowledgment in the syllabus of both novice and background learners has called for insight into similarities and differences between first and second language acquisition. However, the requirement for a common curriculum and assessment framework and the challenges of coping simultaneously with more than twenty languages have meant that the details of this research have been ignored. The multiple possible starting ages for language learning have been incorporated in curriculum frameworks, but the specific features of language learning in particular languages and at specific ages have not found an echo in the documents. The reasons for these incorporations and exclusions and the consequences of them are explored.