Developing Second Language Learners’ Sociolinguistic Competence: How Teachers’ CEFR-Related Professional Learning Aligns with Learner-Identified Needs
- What needs do FSL learners identify concerning their development of sociolinguistic competence? Specifically:
- What are their beliefs about the extent of their sociolinguistic abilities?
- What types of sociolinguistic skills would they like to develop further?
- How do their beliefs compare to their actual sociolinguistic performance, as captured during a semi-structured interview in French?
- In what ways would they prefer to acquire the sociolinguistic skills they feel they lack?
- In what ways do FSL teachers feel that their CEFR-oriented professional learning is making sociolinguistic competence more central to their teaching practices? Specifically:
- What impacts do they report on their planning practices?
- What impacts do they report on their classroom practices?
- What impacts do they report on their assessment and evaluation practices?
- Is the degree of “fit” between the learners’ self-identified sociolinguistic needs and the teachers’ reports of their reoriented teaching practices likely to lead to increased sociolinguistic competence for Ontario FSL learners?
2. Literature Review
2.1. FSL Learners’ Metasociolinguistic Knowledge
2.2. Patterns of Learners’ Sociolinguistic Variant Use
2.3. The CEFR in FSL Teaching in Ontario, Canada
2.4. Sociolinguistically-Oriented FSL Teaching
2.5. Links to the Present Study
- What do you know about sociolinguistic variation in French (including any specific sociolinguistic variants you know, and how you acquired them)?
- To what extent do you feel able to perceive the identity and intentions of others in French?
- To what extent do you feel able to express your own identity and intentions in French?
3.3. Data Analysis
4.1. Research Question #1: Learners’ Self-Identified Sociolinguistic Abilities and Needs
4.1.1. Ability to Express One’s Own Identity and Intentions and Perceive That of Other French Speakers
4.1.2. Elements Learners Report Missing to Develop Their Expressive and/or Receptive Sociolinguistic Ability
4.1.3. Learners’ Perceptions of Their Ability to Use Upper and Lower Register Markers
- Expressions of restriction meaning “only” (i.e., ‘ien que/juste/seulement/ne…que);
- First person singular of the verb aller “to go” (i.e., mas/je vas/je vais);
- First person plural personal subject pronouns (i.e., nous-autres/on/nous);
- Lexical expressions for a “job” (i.e., job/emploi/travail/poste);
- Lexical expressions for “to live” (i.e., rester/habiter/demeurer);
- Expressions of consequence meaning “therefore” (i.e., fait que/so/alors/donc).
4.1.4. Learners’ Preferred Ways of Developing Sociolinguistic Abilities
4.2. Research Question #2: Teachers’ CEFR-Informed Instructional Practices
4.2.1. Teachers’ Self-Reported CEFR-Informed Approach to Planning
4.2.2. Teachers’ Self-Reported CEFR-Informed Approach to Teaching
4.2.3. Teachers’ Self-Reported CEFR-Informed Approach to Assessment and Evaluation
4.3. Research Question #3: Overlap between Learners’ Sociolinguistic Needs and Teachers’ CEFR Practices
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Year of Study||1st||5||11|
|Grades Taught||% of Teachers|
|Professional Learning Opportunities||% of Teachers|
|DELF corrector training||100|
|School/board conferences, workshops||93|
|DELF corrector “refresher”||77|
|Job-embedded professional learning||56|
|CEFR regional learning events||54|
|Other conferences or workshops||50|
|CEFR provincial meetings||49|
|Abilities Reported||Sample Comments|
|“I can understand when people are being more serious or when they’re being more laid back”.|
“I feel like I can express myself… I feel like for the most part they can pick up on my personality”.
|“Listening, I find I don’t have an issue with listening to people and understanding them um, and even understanding their personality […but…]”|
“I’m sort of thinking so far in advance about what I’m going to say that I don’t get to throw in any of myself into it”.
|“I don’t know the words that are used to express someone’s personality or how to talk for yourself”.|
“Because you’re stressing about making sure the person understands what you’re trying to say, you can’t really show your personality”.
|Missing Elements||Sample Comments|
vocabulary in action
|“Confidence, definitely vocab, always vocab. I will have learned a word for four years and I will not know how to use it”.|
“I think sometimes it’s just like the confidence to speak in French and other times like I know the vocab, when I hear it I understand it, but actually using it…”
|“I think it’s experience with the language. I think it’s understanding the nuances within the language like the registers, like idiomatic expressions or sayings”.|
“If I wanted to be super informal and be super cool you know with all my friends, I don’t think I could do that”.
|Understanding of how language changes with formality||“I would find it beneficial to learn about French formality and the various different registers that can be used to express oneself. I find that this is a component that is overlooked in French teaching and would aid students”.|
“I wish I learned a lot of [variants] that I can use in regards to the different social settings I will be exposed to”.
|Ability to use the lower and upper registers and their markers||“I would like to know more about very formal language that goes deeper than just using vous”. *|
“Colloquial, slang. Mostly just when to use it and where it comes from”.
|Self-Rated Proficiency||Vernacular Variants |
(i.e., ’ien que; mas; nous-autres; fait que; job; rester)
|Informal Variants |
(i.e., juste; je vas; on; so)
(i.e., seulement; je vais, nous; emploi; travail; habiter; donc, alors)
|Hyper-Formal Variants |
(i.e., ne…que; poste; demeurer)
|Learners’ Preferences||Sample Comments|
|French classes||“There could be more courses focused on how to speak in a given context”.|
“In a classroom setting, directed by a teacher (with opportunities for practice) would be the best way to learn, listen and practice”.
“It would be fantastic to learn this in courses in both high school and university”.
|Supervised conversations and speaking activities||“There’s no supervised speaking ever. We are not encouraged to talk in class.“|
“I’d like to say like oral classes/conversation”.
|Authentic interactions||“I would like to learn that in interactions with others”.|
“I would love to learn this by speaking to French speakers!”
|Authentic materials||“Watching movies with no subtitles or listening to music or magazines”.|
“Through guest speakers or watching movies”.
|Exchange programs and immersive experiences||“I am going on an exchange to France so maybe I can learn there”.|
“I find that there is no substitute for practice experience, authentic immersion in a cultural milieu”.
|Learners’ Self-Identified |
|Teachers’ Self-Reported Approach to Teaching||Overlap|
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Rehner, K.; Lasan, I. Developing Second Language Learners’ Sociolinguistic Competence: How Teachers’ CEFR-Related Professional Learning Aligns with Learner-Identified Needs. Educ. Sci. 2023, 13, 282. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030282
Rehner K, Lasan I. Developing Second Language Learners’ Sociolinguistic Competence: How Teachers’ CEFR-Related Professional Learning Aligns with Learner-Identified Needs. Education Sciences. 2023; 13(3):282. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030282Chicago/Turabian Style
Rehner, Katherine, and Ivan Lasan. 2023. "Developing Second Language Learners’ Sociolinguistic Competence: How Teachers’ CEFR-Related Professional Learning Aligns with Learner-Identified Needs" Education Sciences 13, no. 3: 282. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030282