Languages in the primary classroom: teachers’ views and practices

Fiona Copland*, Sue Garton, Camilla Barnett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article draws on data from a British Council-funded project which aimed both to compare global early English language learning (EELL) pedagogic practices in 2020 with those in 2010 and to investigate current EELL teaching and learning in primary schools. The project had an explicit focus on classroom language practice, that is, the languages teachers (and learners) use to deliver and learn English content, a key pedagogic concern in the literature. This article first compares survey data on classroom language use in 2010 and 2020 before presenting a more in-depth consideration of the 2020 data from fourteen case studies to give an overview of current classroom language practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-22
Number of pages12
JournalELT Journal
Issue number1
Early online date3 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Oxford University Press; all rights reserved. This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in ELT Journal following peer review. The version of record, 'Copland, Fiona, Garton, Sue and Barnett, Camilla (2023). Languages in the primary classroom: teachers’ views and practices. ELT Journal, 77 (1), pp. 11-22,' is available online at:


  • translanguaging
  • young learners
  • primary schools
  • L1
  • teachers' views


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