Research Projects Centre for Research and Enterprise in Language (CREL)

CREL provides a focal point for interdisciplinary research in language and provides opportunities for research and enterprise collaborations with partners in the UK and overseas. 

An overview of current and upcoming research projects:

Raising Participation Rates and Performance in MFL at Key Stages 3, 4 & 5 (2014-2016)

This was a project in partnership with the Royal Greenwich Teaching School Alliance focused on improving the subject knowledge and teaching skills of Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 MFL subject leaders and teachers. The project involved ten secondary schools in Royal Greenwich and one in Lewisham. The project secured a grant for £250,000 from the London School Excellence Fund. The rationale of the project was based on the need to significantly raise the attainment of pupils taking MFL at GCSE and A level and raise participation rates. A key component of the secondary CPD courses were the inclusion of research findings into second language acquisition and their implications for teachers. This gave the course a ground breaking and unique aspect, which both challenged and stimulated teachers.

Summary of impact:

  • The project significantly raised the profile of MFL in Royal Greenwich schools (11 secondary, 12 primary and 23 outreach schools).
  • Pupil attainment improved at KS 2, KS 3, KS 4 and KS 5 between baseline and final assessments, although this cannot be attributed directly to the project. 1,502 pupils were involved.
  • Feedback from the pupil audit and Summer School suggests that participation levels at GCSE and A level should increase in the future, when compared with current levels of participation.
  • The KS2/3 and KS4/5 Summer Schools improved both confidence and enjoyment of MFL for attendees.
  • The quality of teaching in the project participants' classes improved with increased levels of teacher confidence and risk taking. 85 teachers were trained.
  • The impact of pupils' learning, levels of engagement and involvement increased according to their teachers and independent classroom observation.
  • The CPD model was very effective - confirmed by the external evaluation.
  • The levels of collaboration across departments and schools increased significantly as a result of the project with a legacy of strong networks.
  • Secondary subject leaders realised the need to raise expectations in Year 7 as a result of the cross phase visits.

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Centre for Research and Enterprise in Language (CREL) is part of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Greenwich.