French Learner Language Oral Corpora flloc
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Progression Corpus


The project “Progression in Foreign Language Learning” was based at the University of Southampton and the National Foundation for Educational Research, UK. It was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council from September 1993 until August 1996 (Project ref no R000234754). The project co-directors were Rosamond Mitchell (University of Southampton) and Peter Dickson (NFER). The main project team members were: Peter Dickson, Judy Hawker, Janet Hooper, Cynthia Martin, Rosamond Mitchell, Florence Myles, Luciana O’Neill. Additional support was given by graduate students of the University of Southampton.

The overall aim of the project was to investigate progression in foreign language learning in the early years of secondary schooling, with specific reference to French as a first foreign language.

The specific objectives of the project were:

In pursuit of these objectives the project adopted a longitudinal approach. A cohort of 60 children was tracked through two years (six terms) of classroom French, from the second term of Year 7 until the first term of Year 9 inclusive (i.e. age 11-12 to 13-14, starting after just one term of classroom French). Once each term a range of speaking activities was undertaken by the cohort, during what was called a ‘Round’ of data elicitation. The resulting corpus of spoken language data amounts to around 200 hours. In addition, a formal test of vocabulary was devised and administered on two occasions. French as foreign language lessons attended by the learners were also audiorecorded over the two year period on a fortnightly basis.

A comprehensive listing of all other outputs from this Project is available at For further information contact or