• Evaluating Student Mentoring As an Intervention to Support Modern Foreign Language Learning in Secondary Schools in Wales

    Research Articles

    Evaluating Student Mentoring As an Intervention to Support Modern Foreign Language Learning in Secondary Schools in Wales

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Abstract

Commissioned annually by the British Council, the third Language Trends Wales report (2017) paints a worrying picture for non- indigenous languages in schools in Wales. Between 2002 and 2016, entries for modern foreign language qualifications at age sixteen (GCSE) dropped by 48%. Entries for advanced qualifications (A Level) at age eighteen have seen a similar drop, with the number today now half that of 2005. Funded by the Welsh Government, a student mentoring project is working in Wales to improve the uptake of modern foreign languages at GCSE in schools where uptake is low or in decline. This article evaluates the outcomes of this mentoring project over its first two phases (2015 16 and 2016 17). It analyses this mentoring initiative from two perspectives. Firstly, it examines the project as a strategic policy intervention, targeted at increasing uptake of modern foreign languages at GCSE and supporting curriculum reform in Wales. Secondly, the article assesses mentoring as a personal and professional intervention, supporting the lifelong learning of university students who were trained as mentors to work in secondary schools. By reviewing the impact of the project on both mentees and mentors, the article makes a case for mentoring as an intervention with capacity to build partnerships, broaden horizons and improve attitudes to language learning at a time of uncertainty about the UK's and Wales's place in the world.

How to Cite:

Blake S. & Gorrara C., (2019) “Evaluating Student Mentoring As an Intervention to Support Modern Foreign Language Learning in Secondary Schools in Wales”, Wales Journal of Education 21(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.16922/wje.21.1.3

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Published on
01 Mar 2019
Peer Reviewed