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Title:

Smyth (2000) I feel this challenge and I don't have the background: Teaching bilingual pupils in Scottish primary schools

Summary:

This study by Smyth (2000) provides an insight into the practice of teaching bilingual children in Scottish primary schools. The research was undertaken prior to the increase in demand for English language learning which followed EU Accession. The first languages spoken by the children in the schools included in this study were Cantonese, Punjabi and Urdu. The study includes interviews with teachers which afford a fascinating insight into their thoughts and experiences. The research found that although those interviewed did not have a set of best practice tools to use when teaching their bilingual pupils, the teachers nonetheless demonstrated a clear appreciation of the central importance of the children’s home language and associated cultural and linguistic connections. This study highlights that educating bilingual children in Scottish primary schools is far more complex than the overarching label of ‘bilingual education’ might suggest. The research demonstrates that adherence to a dominant monolingual model of teaching creates and maintains structural discrimination in the classroom. Also see Foley (2013) for a review of English as an Additional Language (EAL) policy and practice.

Bibliographic reference:

Smyth, G. (2000) I feel this challenge and I don't have the background: teaching bilingual pupils in Scottish primary schools. In: Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research. Edinburgh: European Conference on Educational Research Vol. 20, p.23.

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Free

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