Academic journal article Babel

Editorial

Academic journal article Babel

Editorial

Article excerpt

I recently visited a good friend and colleague at home and had the pleasure of seeing her almost three-year-old son, Alessandro, in action. The beauty of the situation was that my nine-year-old daughter, Ava, was with me, and the two children got on famously. Alessandro, however, is completely bilingual. And not just in terms of everyday banalities but in quite sophisticated discourse. The acrobatic fluidity with which he managed his language resources, and all of the people around him, was stunning. What will a child like this experience when he gets to school? Kathryn Hill discusses some of the issues that he may face as he progresses through school. She looks specifically at the issue of continuity at the junction between primary and high school and its impact on assessment. For me, Kathryn's paper highlights two yawning chasms: how easy it is for teachers to forget that we need to really induct learners into the (arcane?) ways of assessment and the gulf between expectations in so many areas between primary and secondary school.

Shannon Mason turns a considered eye to the issue of language teacher retention. We've all heard the dire predictions about a looming teacher shortage so Shannon's paper comes at a most appropriate moment. The innovative aspect of this paper is that it offers a preliminary investigation into why some graduate language teachers never start teaching - an insidious hidden type of attrition which is rarely, if ever, described.

The remainder of this issue is dedicated to film and languages education. It is more than likely that Alessandro and Ava will be exposed to film in their language learning journeys during schooling. …

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