Essay: How Can Classroom Practitioners Support The

3073 Words13 Pages
Foundation Degree Working with children: Education and well-being. Nathan Haywood. Module 6. Effective learning in diversity. Essay: How can classroom practitioners support the needs of bilingual learners? Word count: 2574 The issues of immigration in the U.K, and its outcomes, have been hotly debated topics for many years. Brought into sharp focus by events such as Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of blood’ speech in 1968, various ‘race riots’ during the eighties and nineties and again more recently by Cameron’s Conservative government, the issues are rarely out of the news and cause strong feelings on both sides of the political divide. Political and public opinion on immigration, integration and multiculturalism aside, the fact is that there are an estimated seven million foreign-born residence in the U.K(1), many of whom do not have English as their first language. Add to this, all British descendants of previous immigrants and we find that over 300 different languages are spoken domestically in some parts of the country (2). In this essay I will look at how U.K schools and their staff can welcome, assess and support the children of these foreign language speakers as they enter our education system; equipping them for learning in British schools whilst respecting and preserving their home language and culture. Throughout the course of this paper, I will focus on three areas: (a) what a child, who speaks English as an additional language (often noted as EAL or bilingual), brings with them into their new school, in terms of language, knowledge and culture, (b) Specific issues of assessing and teaching EAL children in an educational setting and (c) My own experiences and observations relating to the topic where I hope to develop and define what I think is best practice. I will use the example of Sofia, a bilingual child used in one
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