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Opinions of teachers and primary education students on the use of literary language from the first to fifth grade of primary school

Nataša Indjić (2022) Opinions of teachers and primary education students on the use of literary language from the first to fifth grade of primary school. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    In Slovenia, several official state documents stipulate that teaching must be conducted in Slovene (Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia [URS]; Primary School Act [ZOsn], 2013; Public Use of Slovene Act [ZJRS], 2010). Therefore, in schools, teachers must speak Slovene, and the most appropriate choice for this is literary language (Poznanovič Jezeršek, etc., 2018; Kunst Gnamuš, 1992; Petek, 2014; Gomboc, 2009). Research by Jožef (2019) concluded that most teachers follow these recommendations and mostly try to express themselves in literary language. She also found that most teachers correct students when they use colloquial language or dialect. Petek (2019a) stresses that teachers should be properly trained in public speaking. Public speaking skills need to be learned; furthermore, it is necessary to prepare for speeches in advance. In his works (Petek, 2019a; Petek, 2019b), Petek also defines the procedures for developing the ability to speak in public and the possibility to effectively prepare for a speech performance, namely: the speaker should choose an appropriate social and functional language genre and the semantically appropriate words. The speaker should also pay attention to grammatical correctness and orthoepy. When giving speeches, the speaker should use familiar and frequently used words. In this context, we would like to draw attention to the opinions of authors Šebjanič Oražem (2020) and Majdič (2003), who state that beginner teachers have less developed speaking and listening skills and are more likely to make spelling mistakes. One of the most common mistakes is a lack of mastery of the corpus orthoepy norm. In this master’s thesis, we researched the opinions of teachers and students of primary school education (from 1st to 5th grade) regarding the teacher’s use of literary and non-literary language with pupils in the classroom and outside of it. The sample included 86 primary school teachers and 101 primary education students in the academic year of 2020/21. The research aims were to obtain the general opinion of teachers and students on the use of literary and non-literary language in classroom education, in cognitive and relational speech, in each subject (we chose all the subjects taught by the primary school teacher in grades 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5), and outside of the regular school curriculum. We were mainly interested in whether there are any discrepancies in their opinion on the use of a particular social language genre. We also wanted to determine whether opinions differed according to the teacher’s area of origin, the years of service, the grade they taught, and the year of study of the students. Based on the answers obtained from the questionnaire and the analysis carried out with SPSS, we found primary school teachers and students of primary school education mostly agreed with using literary colloquial language when speaking to pupils, both inside and outside of the classroom. At the very least, the respondents agreed with the use of non-literary language (excluding geographical dialects). The same findings applied to language genres in cognitive and relational speech, outside the classroom, and for individual school subjects. More than half of the teachers and students also agreed with using the corpus language in cognitive speech and the school subject of Slovene. Outside the classroom, most students also agreed with the use of geographical dialects, though the proportion of teachers who agreed was much lower. Thus, in general, teachers and students did not agree with the use of non-literary language in the classroom. We did not notice any significant differences in the opinion on the use of each language genre in school among teachers, depending on the grade they teach. The majority of teachers in all classes agreed with using literary colloquial language in the classroom. The majority of teachers teaching in grades 2 and 3 also agreed with the use of the corpus language. We also found no significant differences between teachers according to their years of service and between students according to their year of study. Almost all teachers and students agreed with the use of literary colloquial language in the classroom. Due to the unrepresentative sample in each Slovenian region, we did not get a general answer as to the differences between the teachers’ and students’ opinions according to their statistical region. As a result, research question number 5 was not answered. However, we found that, in most Slovenian regions, teachers and students typically agreed with the use of literary colloquial language, and the majority disagreed with the use of non-literary language. The teachers’ and students’ opinions on all the answers to the research questions are broadly in line with our findings from the literature cited in the theoretical part of this master’s thesis. According to the curriculum of the school subject of Slovene (Poznanovič Jezeršek etc., 2018) and to some other authors (Kunst Gnamuš, 1992; Petek, 2014; Gomboc, 2009), teachers should communicate with pupils in literary language. Regardless of the question, the majority of teachers and students also agree to the use of literary colloquial language (rarely also corpus language) when speaking to pupils inside the classroom and outside of it. The teachers’ and students’ answers enabled us to formulate guidelines for the use of each language genre of the Slovene language, in and outside the classroom. The main focus of the guidelines is to teach in the corpus language or literary colloquial language, using some elements of the pupils’ geographical dialect when necessary. This should apply to all grades across all subjects, regardless of the statistical region in which the school is located. Teachers should also follow these guidelines when speaking to pupils outside the classroom. However, the use of languages of interest and urban languages is inappropriate in the school environment (both inside and outside the classroom).

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: literary language, classroom language, Slovenian, first to fifth grade of primary school, opinion comparison
    Number of Pages: 139
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Tomaž PetekMentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/115037187
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 7284
    Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2022 11:20
    Last Modified: 12 Jul 2022 11:20
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/7284

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