This ‘Linguistics in Modern Foreign Languages’ Project, led by academics at the universities of Anglia Ruskin, Birmingham, Cambridge and Queen Mary, University of London, is aiming to look at the potential for the inclusion of linguistic topics at A-Level MFL. Linguistic content is a fundamental part of many university courses, but not included in the current A-Level syllabus. The project aims to engage students with linguistics, whilst deepening their interest in language, including its historical, cultural and social reflexes. The project is seeking to find how stimulating and relevant the pupils find these topics, but also in what effect this exposure has on their language attitudes and their confidence levels with speaking/writing another language.
A pilot study involving four lectures with a number of schools across the UK has been completed and a second pilot is starting soon. The project organisers are looking to recruit schools and teachers to take part in the pilot study. The pilot involves delivering a 4-lesson linguistics-oriented mini-course in Summer Term 2019 to Year 12 A-level classes (French, German or Spanish). All materials plus notes are provided. The courses are tailored to the specific languages mentioned and include classes on sounds, structures, history and variation. All four classes are intended to last 40-60 minutes. It is desirable for teachers wishing to participate in the project to have some experience of linguistics (BA Honours Level).