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Transition in languages in trying times - challenges and opportunities

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rene Koglbauer


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This chapter – as the keynote at the InnoConf in September 2020 – is set out as a call for action. Following a brief introduction focusing on the wider context of the skills and lifelong learning debate in the UK, the term ‘transition’ is defined and the commonly known (language education) transition points in the English education system revisited. An analysis of the primary to secondary language transition point or border zones of learning (Kelly, Medeiros, & Hazard, 2019) is undertaken by adopting Downes’s (2019) concepts of transition. The chapter then further unpicks unexpected transition points, such as the move from in-person to virtual delivery of the language classroom. Building on Downes’s (2019) concepts, the author introduces a new concept of policy system mismatch, which is explored and tested on a couple of recent policy interventions impacting language teachers and learners (i.e. GCSE speaking endorsement, changes to the A-level specifications). As a consequence of the analysis of the various transition points, the role of collaboration in overcoming some of the barriers identified is discussed. The final section focuses on the transition from university student to graduate and employee. The reader is invited to engage with a call for action: how could we further enhance our education offer to increase our students and future graduates’ employability prospects?

Publication metadata

Author(s): Koglbauer R

Editor(s): Salin, Sandra; Hampton, Cathy

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Innovative language teaching and learning at university: facilitating transition from and to higher education.

Year: 2022

Pages: 23-34

Print publication date: 30/05/2022

Online publication date: 30/05/2022

Acceptance date: 03/11/2021



DOI: 10.14705/rpnet.2022.56.1370