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Do Study Programs in Croatia Prepare Future Foreign Language Teachers to Work with Young Learners?

Sanja Vičević Ivanović orcid id ; Greenfield Community School
Jakob Patekar orcid id ; Rochester Institute of Technology Croatia
Nataša Košuta orcid id ; University of Rijeka, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of German Language and Literature

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 358 Kb

str. 307-344

preuzimanja: 268


Puni tekst: engleski pdf 358 Kb

str. 307-344

preuzimanja: 337



The aim of this paper is to determine the inclusion and the instructors’ attitudes toward the inclusion of content related to early foreign language learning and teaching at an early age in foreign language study programs in Croatia. To establish whether there is a specific course in early foreign language learning and to identify respondents, we looked at the study programs of English, German, Italian, and French from the faculties of humanities and social sciences at the universities of Osijek, Rijeka, Split, Zadar, and Zagreb. Following that, we asked a number of instructors of teaching methodology and glottodidactics courses from the aforementioned programs to fill out a questionnaire containing open- and close-ended questions regarding the importance of professional training for working with young learners, and the inclusion of topics from the field of early language learning and teaching in teaching methodology and glottodidactics courses. The results show that such topics are not sufficiently included in the programs, which leads us to conclude that students – future foreign language teachers – are not prepared to teach young learners once they leave university. Considering the fact that a foreign language is a mandatory subject from grade 1 in Croatia, and that there is a need for teachers educated to work with young learners, as a possible solution for preparing foreign language teachers to teach young children we highlight the importance of revising the content of initial foreign language teacher education in view of offering students a specialization in the field of early language learning.

Ključne riječi

foreign language teacher education, foreign language teaching, young language learners.

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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