Preschool Foreign Language Teaching and Learning – A Network Innovation Project in Slovenia


Article Review

The article “Preschool foreign language teaching and Learning – a network innovation project in Slovenia” by Brumen et al. 2017 focuses on research examining the significance of promoting the study of foreign languages at the preschool level. Ideally, preschools are learning institutions primarily meant for children younger than those joining kindergarten or elementary schools. Studies show that the earlier a child begins learning the second language, the better they become established in the language. This makes this article incredibly significant in establishing whether or not incorporating a foreign language in the preschool syllabus is productive. The article review will involve a summary, critique, and recommendations for future research.

Article Summary

The study describes the Network Innovation Project (NIP) finding regarding the efficiency of teaching foreign languages (FL) in a preschool setting. According to the researchers, the objective of the NIP was to investigate and exercise the most efficient teaching procedures and models in promoting FL education in preschools. In other words, the focus was to examine how preschool learners experience foreign language learning in planned and spontaneous learning activities. The article also reports the professional growth of the teachers involved and the perspective of the parents and caregivers on the efficiency of the learning program.

In the NIP research, two academic supervisors were involved; one covering foreign language teaching and the other from the preschool education sector. The NIP research was done from 2008 to 2015, and ten preschool students were engaged in the project. The primary aim was to develop institutional approaches to promoting foreign language education in the Slovenian preschool sector by reflecting on the educators’ respectful teaching procedures at the individual and collective levels.

At the individual level, the focus was on the preschool educators’ daily, monthly, and semi-annual reflections. On the other hand, the collective level approach involved reflecting on the perspective of all the teachers involved in the NIP through a collaborative meeting with the experts, educators, preschool children, and parents. Furthermore, two categories of teachers were involved in the NIP program. The first was the preschool teachers with expertise in foreign languages, and the second was the foreign language teachers who have completed an accredited teachers training program in preschool education.

The methodology employed continuous monitoring approach to work with the pre-kindergarten children in data collection. Particularly, the article uses three main data collection methods: academic discussions with the children and teachers, semi-structured interviews, and questionnaires. The participants included FL teachers, children, parents, and caregivers. The results showed that the kindergarten children were greatly inspired by their foreign language learning. The study illustrates that parents were content with foreign language performance in preschools. Moreover, the educators affirmed the significance of academic discussions, monthly meetings, and constructive responses regarding the presentation of foreign language activities.

Article Critique

The credibility of the article

Several factors prove the credibility of the article. Firstly, it is a peer-reviewed source. No adverts on the page indicate the source was maybe targeted for business purposes. Essentially, a peer-reviewed article is defined as one written and reviewed by experts prior to its publication to make it more credible for research and academic usage. In this case, the researchers report the findings of a study done by the Network Innovation Project (NIP) regarding foreign language education in a pre-kindergarten setting. Network Innovation Project (NIP) is a credible platform that monitors the international and national aims for developing innovative atmospheres in the education sector.

Secondly, the article is credible because of the need for more conflict of interest between the researchers and the sources provided on the reference page. The references contain informative sources relating to the statistics and findings discussed in the article. The sources affirm the study on the significance of introducing foreign language studies at the preschool level of education. Moreover, the article is credible because its features contribute to evidence-based practices. Apart from using credible books, articles, and journals, the researchers use scientific methodology in data collection, sampling, and recording, and these are key in promoting evidence-based practices.

Nevertheless, the article fails the test of professional credibility. In this case, it uses some sources that can be considered outdated according to the available professional citation criteria. It cites sources up to 13 ten years away from the year of publication, thereby violating the principle of using references that are at most five years from the current year of publication. For instance, the article under review was produced in 2017, but it uses sources from 1994.

Evaluation of the sampling strategy

According to the researchers on page 905, ten kindergartens in Slovenia were engaged in the NIP project. The sample is insufficient to make the assumption of data to be used in making conclusions on international educational matters. Even though the main focus of the data was on the Slovenian education system, it does very little to generalize the research information.

Evaluation of the ethical consideration

The journal meets all the ethical requirements of research. For instance, there was voluntary involvement in recruiting the study participants. The children, parents, and educators of the foreign language were willingly involved in the study approach making the process more ethical. Moreover, the transparency in the process also makes it ethical. The interviews, questionnaires, and discussions in the research methodology were conducted openly and with the consent of the participants.

Research Recommendations

Based on the above review, there are several recommendations to make in the article. First, the researchers opt to use have used a bigger sample in the study. Studies show that a bigger sample size provides accurate results because it provides a wider representation of the study population (Tam et al., 2019). More than ten preschools in the research are needed for a national data analysis project. The researchers needed to involve more schools to gain the general perspective of the students, teachers, and parents on the study topic.

Additionally, the researchers needed to align more with the professional citation credibility criteria. In order to report the most current data in research, it is always recommended that the researchers use sources that have been reviewed at most five years from their current year of publication. Using sources ten years older means the information could be outdated and thus not meaningful for scientific research.

Conclusion

In summary, the article is a report on the Network Innovation Project (NIP) finding regarding the efficiency of teaching foreign languages (FL) in a preschool setting. It affirms that introducing foreign languages in preschools is effective and highly appreciated by parents, learners, and teachers. The article is credible because it is peer-reviewed, lacks a conflict of interest between the researchers and sources provided on the reference page, and has features that contribute to evidence-based practices in the field. However, the major failure appears in the professional citation approach and sampling strategy.

References

Brumen, M., Berro, F. F., & Cagran, B. (2017). Preschool foreign language teaching and learning–A network innovation project in Slovenia. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal25(6), 904-917.

Tam, V., Patel, N., Turcotte, M., Bossé, Y., Paré, G., & Meyre, D. (2019). Benefits and limitations of genome-wide association studies. Nature Reviews Genetics20(8), 467-484.

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