University of Limerick
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Exploring teachers’ experience of implementing a whole class vocabulary intervention in disadvantaged secondary schools

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posted on 2014-10-09, 13:39 authored by Eimear Greene
Background: Collaborative practice between teachers and speech and language therapists (SaLTs) can augment secondary school students’ vocabulary learning through whole class interventions. Research that explores teachers’ experiences of implementing collaborative language interventions is relatively rare. The current study sought to explore teachers’ perceptions of the process and outcomes of a whole class Vocabulary Enrichment Programme (VEP) with first year students attending disadvantaged secondary schools. Aims: To describe teachers’ views on the process and outcomes of implementing a whole class VEP, including their experiences of collaborating with a speech and language therapist (SaLT), the positive and challenging activities within the VEP and possible barriers and facilitators to effectively teaching the VEP. Methodology: Eight teachers from two secondary schools participated in semi-structured interviews within two months of completing the intervention. Eight questions relating to the research aims were used to guide the semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis was performed on the resulting transcribed data. Results: Teachers’ perceived that liaison with the VEP SaLT was an important element of the intervention. Teachers’ highlighted the necessity of vocabulary learning for students and indicated that the multidimensional nature of the learning objectives in the VEP broke down barriers to language learning for students, which helped to increase their confidence. The timescale of the VEP was two classes per week over twelve weeks. This was challenging as teachers had to adapt it, in order to accommodate the learning needs of their students. Classroom management was facilitated by teachers sharing instructional responsibility for the class (team-teaching). Opportunities for expanding the VEP for use with students learning English as an additional language and learning resource groups were also explored. Conclusions: This analysis evaluated the VEP by describing the experience of intervention from the teachers’ perspective implementing the programme. The findings will inform future planning for collaborations between SaLTs and teachers’ in secondary school settings.



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