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The University of Southampton
Modern Languages and LinguisticsPart of Humanities

Research project: Learning French from ages 5, 7 and 11 (FLLOC) - Dormant - Dormant

Currently Active: 

An investigation into starting ages, rates and routes of learning amongst early foreign language learners.

Project Overview:

This project was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council from 2009-2011 (Research Award Number RES-062-23-1545). This project was a further addition to our longstanding programme of corpus based research into French learner language (FLLOC), and it has four broad objectives:

  • To document the development of linguistic competence among young classroom learners of French at three different starting ages (5, 7 and 11 years), and identify similarities and differences.
  • To compare rates of development at different ages after the same amount of classroom exposure.
  • To document and compare the classroom learning strategies used by children at different ages and their attitudes to language learning.
  • Through this evidence, to contribute to theoretical understandings of language learning among young learners, and consequently inform current primary languages initiatives and educational practices in the UK and internationally.

Fieldwork for this project was undertaken in schools in the North-East of England, with the videoing of lesson sequences and development of a series of tasks to measure early learner learner development. A corpus of spoken French has been created using data from this project, following CHILDES guidelines, and is available for use by other researchers.

For more information on ongoing dissemination activities and publications from this project, and to access the learner corpus, visit the FLLOC website.


Professor Rosamond Mitchell

Learning French from ages 5, 7 and 11
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