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'Speak in English!' : the language use of student teachers teaching English in Maltese primary schools : case studies.

Milton, Josephine (2011) 'Speak in English!' : the language use of student teachers teaching English in Maltese primary schools : case studies. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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The National Minimum Curriculum recommends that English lessons should be taught in English, with some code-switching if necessary for the pupils to understand. Maltese and English are the official languages of Malta and both are used in primary education. The aim of this study was to explore the actual use of Maltese and English by student teachers during English lessons. This was done through the use of case studies of three participants: Anne, Suzanne and Lisa. I was interested in how the student teachers used English and why and when they drew on Maltese during their lessons. Through the process of data collection, coding and analysis I became more aware of the possible pedagogic use of Maltese that was involved in the teaching and learning process. I came to the conclusion that both languages were being used to mediate learning and to negotiate meaning and understanding in Maltese primary school classrooms. I also realised that the choice of using Maltese or English in the classroom depended on the identity of the user, as constructed through lived experiences, knowledge about language, and beliefs about language use and teaching as well as the social, cultural, educational and linguistic context. In the classrooms I observed, Maltese was drawn on frequently to ensure understanding and learning, for procedural issues, to address classroom management issues and at times to establish a friendly atmosphere during English lessons. Thus, I came to question the 'English-only' immersion policy in view of the use of Maltese as an additional pedagogical resource in the classroom.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.556985
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2016 11:48
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2016 11:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14576

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