(Turning our) back to the future? Cross-sector perspectives on language learning

Lynne Jones, Hannelore Doughty

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This paper reports on the analysis of a subset of the data related to a wider project about perspectives on language learning as part of the launch event of the Scottish Government’s 1+2 language policy in November 2012. Transcriptions of interviews with learners from primary, secondary and tertiary education sectors were compared and contrasted using an iterative coding process. The findings suggest that the lack of challenge in the language curriculum, previously identified by McPake et al in 1999, continues to act as a demotivating factor, compounded by poor transition arrangements between education sectors. A subsequently conducted literature review revealed commonalities with our own findings. Some recommendations for stakeholders in languages education are put forward for consideration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-40
Number of pages14
JournalScottish Languages Review
Issue number29
Early online date1 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • modern languages in the primary school
  • transition
  • cross-sector links
  • curriculum for excellence
  • 1+2 language policy


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