Why Do Secondary School Pupils in Wales Choose to Study a Modern Foreign Language?


This paper reports on research examining why pupils choose to study a Modern Foreign Language at examination level in Wales. The Modern Foreign Language (MFL) is the third language, at least, for pupils in secondary schools in Wales. Pupils who attend Welsh-medium schools are fluent in both Welsh and English with pupils who attend English-medium schools having varying competence in Welsh. Many of the latter pupils are learning two Languages Other Than English simultaneously, (the MFL and Welsh), (Dörnyei and Al-Hoorie, 2017, Fukui and Yashmina, 2021)). 860 pupils in 10 secondary schools were given questionnaires to complete and asked to provide their reasons for choosing to study an MFL as one of their GCSE subjects. The reasons provided were mainly to do with extrinsic motivations, (Parrish and Lanvers, 2018). 18% of the pupils in these 10 schools had chosen to study an MFL for their GCSEs, ranging from 2% to 37% in different schools. However, 59% of them felt that an MFL would be useful for their future, despite the dominance of English, (Lanvers and Graham, 2022). The implications of adopting a plurilingual approach and teaching an international language in primary schools, in line with the new Curriculum for Wales, (2022), will be discussed in terms of increasing the number of pupils choosing to study MFLs at examination level. This could have implications for other bilingual contexts where a Language Other Than English is taught as an additional language, (Clayton, 2022).

Author Information
Delyth Jones, Aberystwyth University, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: ECLL2023
Stream: Plurilingualism - Bilingualism

This paper is part of the ECLL2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Jones D. (2023) Why Do Secondary School Pupils in Wales Choose to Study a Modern Foreign Language? ISSN: 2188-112X The European Conference on Language Learning 2023: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2188-112X.2023.19
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2188-112X.2023.19

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