Investigating Dutch teachers’ beliefs on working with linguistic metaconcepts to improve students' L1 grammatical understanding

Jimmy H.M van Rijt, Astrid Wijnands, Peter-Arno J.M Coppen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

L1 grammar teaching worldwide often takes the form of traditional
grammar teaching with decontextualized parsing exercises and
rules of thumb. Some researchers have proposed enriching such
forms of grammar teaching by relating traditional grammatical
concepts to underlying metaconcepts from linguistic theory. The
merits of such an approach have become apparent in recent intervention studies, but the question remains how teachers perceive
such forms of grammar teaching, which is of particular importance
for curriculum development. The present study investigated Dutch
teachers’ beliefs in focus groups and a national survey (N = 127). It is
found that Dutch language teachers see important benefits of
a metaconceptual approach to grammar teaching, particularly as
a means to improve students’ grammatical understanding.
However, results also indicate that while teachers may see clear
pedagogical and conceptual advantages of working based on
underlying metaconcepts, their own teaching practice appears to
be much more traditional. This discrepancy is explained by assuming that contextual factors have a restraining effect on what teachers can or want to do in reality. Once such contextual factors no
longer play a part, teachers’ views tend to be much more geared
towards a metaconceptual approach. The paper concludes with
some implications for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalResearch papers in education
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

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