Welsh-language Scaffolding: A Strategy for Undergraduate Teaching in Cardiff School of Management
Young, Kelly Ann
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Cardiff Metropolitan University is a post-1992 university which offers undergraduate degree programmes wherein students can elect to study Welsh-medium modules. Focussing on the BA (Hons) Business and Management programme, the research aimed to develop a systematic strategy for language development within contents-based learning, trialling a range of bilingual teaching methods. Based on the review of the literature, a mathematics-based Welsh-medium Finance module was identified as having a strong rationale for trialling a bilingual teaching intervention. This was due to the linguistic background of the students and existing research on language use in bilinguals undertaking mental calculations. The trial formed part of a wider language scaffolding strategy which aimed to support, build confidence and develop Welsh-language skills over the study. The research employed a mixed-method approach, based on a teaching intervention with students on five undergraduate degree programmes. Feedback on the intervention was garnered through an online questionnaire, face-to-face focus groups with students, structured interviews with staff and a statistical analysis of Welsh-medium students’ average module mark achievement over a four-year period. The results demonstrated a strong correlation between bilingual teaching methods and improved module marks across all language profiles. The results identify a strong positive response in student satisfaction levels and student retention, although staff contributor responses identified negative issues with learning material design and perceived impact upon student language use. Based on these results, the research recommends a systematic and structured language scaffolding strategy for BA (Hons) Business and Management to be implemented to support students with a wide range of Welsh-language skills to be able to engage in Welsh-medium education in Higher Education. The contents-based approach to language scaffolding is relevant across Welsh-medium teaching and could be applied to programmes which include international students studying through a second language as a structured mechanism for language improvement.
PhD Thesis - School of Education
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