Delyth Jones

Delyth Jones

Dr, BA French, MA Applied Linguistics, PhD in Welsh, PGCE French

19962021

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After obtaining a first class honours degree in French, then an MA in Applied Linguistics from Bangor University, Delyth worked as a Research Officer in the Welsh Department at Cardiff University, where she started a PhD describing the communicative competence of children from English-speaking homes who attend Welsh medium schools. She worked for five years at Trinity College, Carmarthen as a Research Fellow and Course Director of the MA in Bilingual Studies: A European Dimension before following a PGCE course in Aberystwyth University.  She was a French Teacher and Head of Department in a secondary school before becoming a Link Tutor for International Languages on the PGCE at Aberystwyth University in 2019.  She is also responsible for the development of Welsh language skills of all PGCE students. 

Research interests

Her PhD described the language competence of pupils in immersion settings in Wales with reference to second language acquisition theories in bilingual contexts. Publications include The Threshold Level for Welsh (1996)  and Cyflwyniad i Ddwyieithrwydd (An Introduction to Bilingualism) (1997). She presented a paper on her PhD thesis in the 3rd European Conference on Immersion Education in Barcelona which was subsequently published in the proceedings, Immersion Programmes: a European Perspective (1998) and published an article "Dylanwad y Saesneg ar Iaith Plant mewn Addysg Gymraeg?" ("The Influence of English on the language of pupils in Welsh Education?") in The Welsh Journal of Education (2000). Current research interests include increasing the uptake of international languages at GCSE level.

Current research is looking in detail at the factors responsible for pupils deciding to study, or not to study, a modern foreign language (MFL) as a GCSE subject.  Due to the decline in the take up of languages in recent years and the advent of the new Curriculum for Wales, this research is timely and could have implications to ensure that every pupil in Wales will be able to “communicate effectively using English, Welsh and international languages,” (Languages, Literacy and Communication: Introduction - Hwb (gov.wales). Data from questionnaires distributed to 860 year 8/9 pupils from 10 secondary schools across Wales show that 59% of the pupils believe that an MFL will be useful to them in the future.  However, only 18% of them chose a modern language as one of their GCSE subjects.

Anecdotal evidence from teachers, the latest Estyn report into modern languages (2016), British Council Language Trends surveys (e.g. https://wales.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/language_trends_report_-_welsh_final.pdf) and the Global Futures document in 2015 have indicated that option boxes affect whether pupils choose an MFL or not,. The results from this study show that 293 pupils noted that the MFL ‘was in the same option box as another subject [they] wanted to take’ or that ‘there were not enough option boxes for [them] to be able to choose a Modern Language.’ If the pupils in the current study were not limited by the option boxes, 52% of them (rather than 18%) might have chosen an MFL for their GCSEs.

One of the strategic aims of the Welsh Government’s “Global Future, A plan to improve and promote modern foreign languages in Wales 2020 to 2022” is to increase the number of young learners studying languages at all levels. More pupils could potentially take an MFL if the option boxes allowed them to take more subjects at GCSE. This finding is important as the latest Language Trends Survey Wales (2021) has called for “urgent intervention” in this area and predicting only one hundred GCSE entries for French and German by 2030. (Language Trends Wales – research into the teaching and learning of international languages. | British Council).

 

Teaching

Contribute to all PGCE modules.

Responsible for Welsh lessons and Pedagogy and Curriculum Knowledge Module for International Languages and Welsh.

 

Responsibilities

University Link Tutor - International Languages / Welsh.

Development of Welsh language skills of PGCE students.

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