Language learning through physical education: An exploration in

Report
Ag foghlaim teanga trí
chorpoideachas a iniúchadh sa
bhunscoil
Déirdre Ní Chróinín
Siobhán Ní Mhurchú
TJ Ó Ceallaigh
Coláiste Mhuire gan Smál, Ollscoil Luimnigh.
Overview of the presentation
Context
Methodology
Key Findings
2
Purpose of the Research
To explore the
impact of Irish
language
learning through
the medium of
physical
education (PE)
on:
• Learning
• Attitudes
An Fhoghlaim Chomhtháite Ábhar agus Teangacha (FCÁT)
Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
"...the integration of particular content
with language teaching aims...the
concurrent teaching of academic subject
matter and second language skills"
(Brinton et al., 1989, p. 2).
Guiding Principles of CLIL
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Integrated aims
Interests and needs of the learners
Language acquisition
Language use and communication
Authentic materials and tasks
Content-based
Input necessary but not sufficient
Balanced focus on fluency and accuracy
Brinton, D. (2005)
Research Intervention
RESEARCH SAMPLE
Description
Number
Fourth class teachers
5
Leanaí Rang 4
5
• Introductory workshop (2hours)
• Each class teacher delivered a unit of PE (4-8 lessons) through Irish.
Data Collection
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Focus group with the teachers
Teachers’ written reflections (each lesson)
Direct observation of lessons (research team)
Focus group with 3-5 children from each class
Final interview with each teacher
Overview of the
Findings
Starting points
First impressions
Experiences of the process week-by-week
Gaeilge: Learning and Attitudes
PE: Learning and Attitudes
Starting Point - Teachers
 Different levels of competence and confidence in Gaeilge
& PE
 Different rationale
 Different motivation
V
 A willingness to get involved
 A positive attitude
 Some apprehension
Rationale
‘Mar do chreid mé insan smaoineamh a bhí ann go
bunúsach, agus tá an-shuim i múineadh na Gaeilge, agus
chomh maith leis sin bhí saghas easpa smaointe agam
do cheachtanna corpoideachais agus do thapaidh mé an
deis chun an dá rud a dhéanamh. Agus bhí suim agam
ann’ (Sadhbh).
‘I love the Irish language but I wouldn’t be very
confident in my own ability’ (Fran)
Starting Point - Children
 Negative attitudes towards the Gaeilge and a lack of
confidence – “boring / hard to understand / don’t like
writing / will I be able to learn the words”
V
 Positive attitudes towards PE
“fun / games / run around / fresh air”
But some thought our language was important!
And they were willing and a tad excited to get involved.
First Impressions - Teachers
 A shift in attitudes
 An improvement in confidence levels
 ‘I loved that because it…made me see that… it’s
using Irish you know, using Irish that the children
could understand. It gave me confidence in the
games, and it let me see that the children didn’t need
a massive amount of Irish to be able to participate
and to enjoy the games’ (Fran).
First Impressions - Children
Apprehension → Growth in confidence, enjoyment and success.
 P1
 P2
We weren’t kind of sure, and we were asking a lot of questions about
it….
Well, she kind of told us more about it, and then we decided
we’d just like try it, and then we just go to know it better, and we
really enjoyed it (rang Tríona)
 Tar éis an chéad rang dúirt mé,
‘Ó, an raibh sé deacair?’ ‘Ní raibh sé deacair’.
‘An raibh sé leadránach?’, “Ní raibh sé leadránach’.
‘An bhain tú taitneamh as?’, ‘Bhain mé taitneamh as’. (Tríona)
Experiences of the process
week-by-week
Aspects of Importance in that
Process
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Planning
Pedagogical Approach
Learning Styles
Language Teaching – formal & informal
Developmental Integration
Assessment
The process: Teachers’ experiences
Planning & Pedagogical Approach
TPR
 ‘at the start I suppose I did a lot of actions, and then I
used to get one or two children to do an example,
and then I’d just correct wherever they made
mistakes so that everyone knew’ (Fran).
Linguistic demands - communicative competence
 I found that I needed to teach them quite a lot of the
informal Irish (Laoise).
The process: Teachers’ experiences
Developmental Integration
I:
Ar labhair siad Gaeilge lena chéile le linn na cluichí?
Tríona: Uaireanta, ar dtús bhí an-chuid Béarla, agus ansin tar
éis b’fhéidir trí nó ceithre rang, bhí siad an-chiúin ar fad, agus
just you know getting nods of the head agus you know, ‘tá’,
‘sea’, ‘ceart go leor’, ach ní raibh siad ag caint le chéile mórán,
so ceapaim go bhfuil siad ag smaoineamh, ‘ó maybe níl cead
againn Béarla a labhairt, agus níl mé ró-chinnte conas é a rá as
Gaeilge, so just beidh mé ciúin’
The process: Teachers’ experiences
Language Teaching / Modelling / Developmental Integration
 ‘bhí sé ceart go leor mar do chaitheas roinnt ama ag an
gclár bán, agus do mhúineas na rudaí, do mhíníos rudaí, do
dheineamar cleachta, dheineas múinleoireacht os comhair
an ranga faoi mar a dhéanfá b’fhéidir le heiseamláirí teanga
sa … Gaeilge, but do dheineas é seo le liathróidí cispheile,
agus liathróidí agus mar sin de, so bhí sé ceart go leor’
(Sadhbh).
The process: Teachers’ experiences
Assessment
‘Sure bhí sé soiléir ar thuigeadar nó nár thuigeadar. Either ritheadar go
dtí an cón dearg nó níor ritheadar, nó phreabadar an liathróid nó níor
phreabadar, so bhí sé an-fhuirist é sin a fheiscint’ (Sadhbh).
Mar a dúirt mé, na haghaidheanna. Like an bhfuil siad blank?, an bhfuil
siad puzzled? nó an bhfuil yeah ceart go leor. Agus lean siad ar aghaidh,
agus d’imir siad an cluiche gan treoir ar bith, you know, tuigeann siad na
rialacha. Now tuigeann siad cad a bhí ar siúl, ach fós ní raibh siad ag
baint úsáid as an-chuid Gaeilge, so b’fhéidir tar éis cúpla ceachtanna
eile, agus níos mó ullmhúchán ar mo pháirt, beidh siad in ann níos mó
Gaeilge a úsáid. (Tríona)
Children’s experiences
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Learning language / terms in the classroom
Writing these in a notebook
Teacher modelling
Teacher and classmates as supports
 Lots of practice
 Using language / terms in the classroom / yard
Impact on Gaeilge
Learning and Attitudes
Impact on Gaeilge learning
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Language Learning Outcomes – Receptive V Productive
Gaeilge Neamhfhoirmiúil - improvement
Attitude & Confidence - improvement
Oral Language Foundation – stages having a positive impact
Enjoyment - success
Language Planning – more necessary
Impact on Gaeilge learning
Formal Language – specific vocabulary and the language necessary to play the game.
Informal Language – language for communicative and interactive purposes.
•Formal Language is
challenging
•Informal Language is
lacking
Lessons 3-4
•Formal Language being
used more consistently
•Informal Language is
lacking
Lessons 1-2
•Formal Language
needed to play the
games
•Increase in use of
iIformal Language
Lessons 5+
Impact on Gaeilge learning
Listening - Understanding - Speaking
‘the children don’t necessarily need to have a massive
amount of vocabulary, so it’s working on their
understanding, but then they, in spite of themselves,
start coming out with some, and they start using the
language’ (Fran).
Impact on Gaeilge learning
‘when my cousins come down to my Granny’s, there’s
the park beside it, so we play there, and by an accident I
got mixed up with the English and the Irish, and I
started to shouting out loads of Irish… and they were
both staring at me going, ‘what is she saying?... I was
saying, ‘Brostaigh’, and ‘Tabhair dom é’, and ‘Dúisigí’,
and all these other words (rang Sadhbh).
The importance of a positive attitude
‘an rud is mó a thaitin liomsa mar gheall ar an
tionscnamh ar fad ná an dearcadh. An dearcadh
dearfach, agus an spreagadh a thug saghas iad a bheith
you know a tharraingt i dtreo na Gaeilge, mar is rud anthábhachtach, is rud teibí é seo, ach is rud anthábhachtach, más féidir leat dearcadh dearfach i leith
na Gaeilge a chothú ins na páistí, sin ceann des na
haidhmeanna atá sa churaclam. So bhí mé an-shásta gur
bhain mé an aidhm sin amach’ (Sadhbh).
Impact on Gaeilge attitudes
Affective nature of learning
I:
P1:
If the teacher said, ‘ok, next week now we go back to
do PE as Béarla’.
I’d be really sad.
‘I was feeling very excited. I like doing Irish, so if I put PE and
Irish together, I was thinking I’d really enjoy it. But then when
I was after doing it, I got a bit confused and all of these
words, but then I started to get the hang of it, and I enjoyed
it’ (rang Sadhbh).
Impact on Physical Education
Learning and Attitudes
Impact on PE learning
 Being active/ participation was emphasised over
specific skill learning
 Teachers more focused on language development
 Language limited feedback/ differentiation
Impact on PE learning
Teachers more focused on language development
I:
Did you find it difficult now to teach the skills, the PE
skills as Gaeilge?
Laoise:
That was actually one of the problems that I
noted down… in particular, a lot of the game ones, I found I
was more concentrating on the language towards the end
than I was the actual skills.
Language limited feedback/ differentiation
‘do chonac go soiléir cuid des na cluichí you know, go raibh
páistí laga agam ó thaobh you know bheith ábalta liathróid a
láimhseáil ó thaobh slí amháin nó slí eile, but toisc go raibh an
tionscnamh ar bun agam, ní fhéadfá saghas idirdhealú a
dhéanamh idir na páistí láidre ó thaobh an chorpoideachais
de agus na páistí a bhí b’fhéidir dyspraxia orthu mar shampla.
Ní raibh tú ábalta an dá thrá a fhreastal’ (Sadhbh).
Impact on PE learning
‘Well, at first we played like kinda babyish games in Irish, but
then when we got like… we understood it more, we got to
play funner games and stuff’ (rang Tríona).
 I:
And did it make the games more fun that you were
doing it in Irish, or did it make it less fun, or did it make any
difference?
 All: It didn’t make any difference (rang Triona).
Impact on PE learning
 P1: We did this game where there it says something
on the card and you have to match it to this picture
but it was all in Irish.
 I:
Ok, so were you practising Irish there, or were
you practising PE skills, do you think?
 P1: Irish.
 I:
Irish. So in the classes, did you practise more
Irish or more PE, do you think?
 P1: More Irish. (rang Fran)
Impact on PE learning
Not all students were challenged?
‘I like PE, but it’s fun. I prefer it in English because we do better games, and it’s
better because we do funner games, and in Irish … we do easier games’ (rang
Fran).
 I:
Ok, it was good because it was instead of Irish but if it was instead of
PE in English…
 P1:
I wouldn’t like it as much but it would be still fun, cos in Irish we did
simpler games.
 I:
Ok, and what makes the other games you play in English PE harder,
tell me.
 P1:
there’s more instructions, and there’s more games…(rang Fran)
Impact on PE learning
‘Bhuel, I suppose an tuiscint a bhí agamsa ar an
bpróiseas ar fad ná go bhfoghlaimeodh na páistí
Gaoluinn agus iad i mbun corpoideachais ag an am
céanna, but is dócha chun a bheith macánta go néireodh leat níos mó scileanna corpoideachais a
dhéanamh sa chéad teanga, now, admhaím san, ach ó
thaobh na Gaoluinne de, you know, b’fhiú go mór é’
(Sadhbh).
Impact on PE attitudes
‘I thought it was fun because we learnt it, and like we
would… it made us better in Irish like, it was like being in
the classroom doing the Irish, except we were outside
getting fit while using the Irish, so we were learning and
exercising at the same time’ (rang Sadhbh).
Gaeilge agus PE le chéile?
‘is breá liom an corpoideachas agus an Ghaoluinn a chur le
chéile mar tá gníomhaíocht i gceist, agus tá spórt i gceist,
agus tá spraoi i gceist…ar shlí, luíonn corpoideachas agus an
Ghaoluinn le chéile go han-mhaith, mar múineann tú saghas
na focail like, ag bogshodar, ag rith, ag léim, ag scipeáil, ag
máirseáil. Múineann tú iad san ar aon nós, nuair a bhíonn tú i
mbun oibre ag brath ar an téama a bhíonn á dhéanamh agat.
Múineann tú an trealamh spóirt ag déanamh b’fhéidir an
téama caitheamh aimsire, so níl an-chuid oibre breise i gceist’
(Sadhbh).
Would you like to do it again?
Teachers
‘Absolutely…Because it has made Irish enjoyable for me
too, and I see that it can be… you know it can be alive
for children and they can understand and it makes it so
much more alive for them, and that they have fun with
it, and it’s great. It’s great to see that’ (Fran).
Would you like to do it again?
Teachers
‘B’fhiú go mór é chun aghaidheanna na bpáistí a
fheiscint, saghas ó thaobh iad a bheith níos dearfaí i
leith na Gaeilge. Saghas, nuair a dúirt tú, “right táimid
chun Gaoluinn a dhéanamh amuigh sa chlós, agus na
haghaidheanna agus iad ag preabadh as a gcraiceann, I
mean b’fhiú go mór an rud a dhéanamh toisc an méid
sin’ (Sadhbh).
Would you like to do it again?
Teachers
‘fuair mé smaointe nua don chorpoideachas, you know, so
bhí… sin bonus mór agus ansin like, bhainmíd go léir
taitneamh, agus thug sé seans dúinn níos mó Gaeilge a
labhairt lasmuigh den rang, you know, nuair atáimid ag léamh
an leabhar, ‘tháinig na páistí abhaile, agus shuigh siad síos,
agus thosaigh siad ag féachaint ar an teilifís’, arís is arís is arís,
agus tá sé leadránach, ach nuair atáimid lasmuigh den rang,
tá seans againn you know an teanga atá ar eolas againn a
úsáid agus you know, feiceann na páistí an méid atá ar eolas
acu, an méid a thuigeann siad, so I think tugann sé muinín do
na páistí, yeah (Tríona).
Would you like to do it again?
Children
 I:
Has it made Gaeilge very, very difficult, or has it
made Gaeilge easier?
 P1: I think it has made it easier, because when you’re
having fun it’s easier to learn things (rang Meadbh).
Summary of Findings
 Gaeilge - Positive impact on :
 Teacher and Pupil learning
 Teacher and Pupil attitudes
 PE - Neutral impact on PE attitudes (children) and
activity levels
 Impact on PE skill learning (?)
Next steps
 Attitudes
 Learning


 Strategies
?
 Insight into their experiences of this approach lays
foundations for future CLIL initiatives in Irish primary
schools.
Go raibh maith agaibh
Breis Eolais
Dé[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

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