Expliciet en direct NT2-onderwijs nodig; haaks op visie Steunpunt NT2-Leuven. Visie van prof. Catherine Snow (keynote ORD, Groningen)
Het Leuvens Steunpunt NT2 ontving in de periode 1990-2010 een 500 miljoen BFR voor het ondersteunen van NT2-onderwijs. Merkwaardig genoeg besloot het Steunpunt al na een paar jaar dat expliciet NT2-onderwijs met een specifieke methodiek overbodig was. Het vo...lstond volgens hen dat de anderstalige kleuters gewoon optrokken met de Vlaamse kleuters binnen de klas, samen spelen in de speelhoeken e.d. Volgens de Leuvense professoren Kris Van den Branden en Koen Jaspaert was er immers geen verschil tussen de aanpak van NT2 en NT1. In het handboek taal 5Acco 2004) voor de lerarenopleiding onder redactie van Van den Branden wordt er dan ook met geen woord gerept over de specifieke NT2-methodiek. Prof. Catherine Snow die vorige woensdag op de ORD-dagen in Groningen een keynote-lezing verzorgde, is het daar absoluut niet mee eens. Zij pleit voor expliciet en direct NT2-onderwijs. We citeren even uit een publicatie van Snow.
Why has the acquisition of English by non-English-speakingchildren not been more universally successful? It appears that non-English-speaking students may be having a harder and harder time learning English. Although it used to take them from five to seven years to learn English (Cummins 1981a; Klesmer, 1994), recent studies suggest it is now taking seven to ten years (Ramrez, Pasta, Yuen, Billings, & Ramey, 1991).
There are students who begin school in kindergarten classified by their school district as limited English proficient (LEP) and who leave it as LEP students 13 years later. Even highly motivated students can have considerable difficulty mastering English. The public, the press, and many educators have blamed bilingual education for the slow rate of English learning by LEP students.
Whether or not LEP students manage to survive in school, few can learn English at the levels required for success in higher education or the workplace without instructional intervention. But for many years, teachers who work with these students have been unclear about what instructional role they should play in second language learning. Over the past two decades, some teacher education programs and in-service workshops have suggested that there is no need to teach English directly. Instead teachers have been told by experts that they should speak to children in ways that help them understand, and teach them subject matter using simplified English. They should use pictures, gestures, demonstrations and the like to allow children to acquire English naturally and automatically, and avoid indicating that they notice students English language errors so that learnerswill not be self-conscious and immobilized in using the language. The message is this: Direct instruction can do nothing to change the course of language development, which is determined by internal language-acquisition mechanisms that allow learners to sort things out eventually.
Are these approaches effective? Examining how children acquire English in a variety of settings, Fillmore (1982; 1991) found that certain conditions must be met if children are to be successful. They must interact directly and frequently with people who know the language well enough to reveal how it works and how it can be used. During interactions with English learners, expert speakers not only provide access to the language at an appropriate level; they also provide ample clues as to what the units in the language are and how they combine to communicate ideas, information, and intentions. Learners receive corrective feedback as they negotiate and clarify communicative intentions (Long, 1985; Pica, 1996).
The acquisition process can go awry when the conditions for language learning are not met, especially when learners greatly outnumber people who know the language well enough to support acquisition, as in schools and classrooms with high populations of English language learners.When there is no direct instruction in such situations, children can either make little progress learning English.