Linguistics in MFL A-levels

Dr Alice Corr, Lecturer in Modern Languages, has co-written a position piece advocating for the inclusion of the study of Linguistics in MFL at Key Stage 5 (A-levels).

The article, ‘A place for Linguistics in Key Stage 5 Modern Foreign Languages’, by Dr Alice Corr appears jointly in Languages, Society and Policy and Impact: Journal of the Charted College of Teaching as part of a special collection following on from the launch event of Language Analysis in Schools: Education and Research (LASER), hosted by the British Academy in March 2019. 

Co-authored by Jonathan Kasstan (Westminster) and Michelle Sheehan (Anglia Ruskin), the article emerges from a multi-institutional initiative, The Linguistics in MFL project, which is trialling a Linguistics component with Year 12 students in UK schools. It puts forward the case that the inclusion of Linguistics in the AS/A-level curriculum can augment MFL study at Key Stage 5 by offering new and different ways of thinking about and engaging with languages. The article explains that Linguistics promotes empirical investigation and raises metalinguistic and sociolinguistic awareness, enabling language learners to recognise and articulate linguistic differences between linguistic communities and thus helping them to react appropriately and produce language authentically according to the different linguistic environments they encounter.

As part of the Linguistics in MFL project, Dr Corr (Project Lead for Spanish) has also been invited to talk at the University of Cambridge’s Festival of Ideas, run a workshop at King’s College London for the AHRC/OWRI-funded Language Acts and Worldmaking conference ‘Moving through languages: Schools and Universities working together’, and participate in an upcoming Languages Acts debate at the University of Westminster. 

Teachers interested in participating in the project can get in touch via email linguisticsinmfl@gmail.com or on Twitter (@inmfl), or contact Dr Alice Corr, who also runs the Linguistics in Schools Transatlantic Educational Network (Twitter: @listenling), directly at a.corr@bham.ac.uk.