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Experiences of learning French: a snapshot at Years 11, 12 and 13

Graham, S. ORCID: (2002) Experiences of learning French: a snapshot at Years 11, 12 and 13. Language Learning Journal, 25 (1). pp. 15-20. ISSN 1753-2167

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/09571730285200051


This paper considers the attitudes of students in Years 11, 12 and 13 towards French and, in particular, how they view the reasons behind their level of achievement. It reports findings from a small-scale pilot study, conducted in four schools and colleges, involving 83 students in Year 11, 26 in Year 12 and 14 in Year 13. The findings indicate that French is perceived by many Year 11 students to be difficult and uninteresting. These students, furthermore, do not consider that French is of much benefit in terms of their future career. The data suggest that there is a tendency among students in all three year groups to attribute their lack of success in French to their own low ability and to the difficulty of tasks set, which, it is argued, may affect their levels of motivation in a negative way. Few students in the study have any insight into the importance of learning strategies in overcoming difficulties experienced in language learning. Students' attitudes are then discussed in relation to learning strategy training. It is argued that if learners are encouraged to explore the possibility that their achievement in French may be related to the efficacy of the learning strategies they use, rather than to factors such as low ability or task difficulty, their self-concept, motivation and language learning achievements can be enhanced. A brief outline is given of a planned research project which proposes to address these issues further.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Language and Literacy in Education
ID Code:31313
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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