Learning and teaching writing for 14-year-old Junior Certificate learners of German
Keywords:Junior Certificate, German, Young learners
The Junior Certificate examination requires inexperienced learners to write a letter and short note to a fictional reader. In this paper, written samples are analysed and questionnaire results presented from a small group of young, inexperienced learners preparing for this examination. Empirical data was collected from written samples, a game, and questionnaires. The data suggests that learners plan their German Junior Certificate short note in both English and German. They predominantly rework what they have written not by exchanging single words, but by replacing large sections of their sentences. Data obtained from questionnaires suggests that these learners’ experiences of writing in German come mainly from homework with pre-set sentences. Learners show low motivation and a lack of ownership of their work. Discussions of foreign language (FL) writing theories, models, teaching methods, and writing task design, and of practical ways of improving young learners’ attitudes to writing in the FL are included.