Rijt, J. van, Wijnands, A. & Coppen, P.-A. (2019). Dutch teachers' beliefs on linguistic concepts and reflective judgement in grammar teaching. Contribution to a special issue What is Grammar in L1 Education Today?, edited by Kaisu Rättyä, Elżbieta Awramiuk, and Xavier Fontich.
L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 19,
Teacher beliefs have been shown to play a major role in shaping educational practice, especially in the area of grammar teaching―an area of language education that teachers have particularly strong views on. Traditional grammar education is regularly criticized for its focus on rules-of-thumb rather than on insights from modern linguistics, and for its focus on lower order thinking. A growing body of literature on grammar teaching promotes the opposite, arguing for more linguistic conceptual knowledge and reflective or higher order thinking in grammar pedagogy. In the Netherlands, this discussion plays an important role in the national development of a new curriculum.
This study explores current Dutch teachers’ beliefs on the use of modern linguistic concepts and reflec-tive judgment in grammar teaching. To this end, we conducted a questionnaire among 110 Dutch lan-guage teachers from secondary education and analyzed contemporary school textbooks likely to reflect existing teachers’ beliefs. Results indicate that teachers generally appear to favor stimulating reflective judgement in grammar teaching, although implementing activities aimed at fostering reflective thinking seems to be difficult for two reasons: (1) existing textbooks fail to implement sufficient concepts from modern linguistics, nor do they stimulate reflective thinking; (2) teachers lack sufficient conceptual knowledge from linguistics necessary to adequately address reflective thinking.