Talk, Language and Learning in P1/P2 Lessons

Project Number
OER 33/09 RS

Project Duration
May 2010 - September 2012


This is a data mining project which makes use of existing data from OER 47/08 MS in order to investigate P1/P2 pedagogy and language use. The focus of the project is on teacher talk, language use and pedagogy in the crucial early years (P1/P2) of education across all five core subjects: Chinese, English, Malay, Tamil and Mathematics. Specifically, the research team investigates three issues which are central to effective pedagogy: how language teachers (Chinese, English, Malay, and Tamil) use language to teach language, especially their use of formal/informal, spoken/written, and standard/non-standard forms; how culture is represented and taught across core subjects including culture and ethnicity in the Mother Tongues where it is a key part of the syllabi (e.g., 'Chineseness' as part of Chinese language learning), in contrast to English where it is virtually absent from the syllabus (2009 or 2010), and disciplinary 'culture' or representation of Mathematics as a discipline in the language used in maths teaching; and, finally, the way language impedes or facilitates the teaching of mathematics in a multilingual culture with children from varied home language backgrounds. All of these are issues which the research team uncovered in an earlier analysis of P1/P2 classroom data (video analysis with a predetermined classroom coding scheme) and comparative investigation of subject syllabi. While the earlier study focussed on educational policy in P1/P2, this project focuses on language learning, language use and language across the curriculum to better understand effective pedagogy in lower primary. It contributes to a better understanding of lower primary pedagogy across the core subjects (rather than looking at one specific subject, e.g., maths, or a specific skill area, e.g., reading), supplies crucial information for teacher training and professional development for lower primary education, and provides in-depth analyses of P1/P2 pedagogy through discourse analysis of teacher talk in the classroom (in contrast to earlier studies such as CIEPSS 1 or Core 1 which have use structured coding schemes).

Funding Source

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