NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ801838
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-1741-4350
Bilingual Poetry: Expanding the Cognitive and Cultural Dimensions of Children's Learning
Kenner, Charmian; Al-Azami, Salman; Gregory, Eve; Ruby, Mahera
Literacy, v42 n2 p92-100 Jul 2008
Stories and poetry have long been considered a resource for the language and literacy development of bilingual children, particularly if they can work with texts in both mother tongue and English. This paper demonstrates that bilingual learning is also beneficial for second and third-generation children whose English is often stronger than their mother tongue. Presenting data from an action research project in East London primary schools, we show how children investigated metaphor and cultural content in a Bengali lullaby, clarifying concepts through dialogue with their parents. Comparison with a lullaby in English from North America generated additional ideas concerning different cultural values. The learning process enabled children to use their bilingual skills and draw on different aspects of their bicultural identities. Finally, we explain how bilingual poetry can be used to stimulate learning in a multilingual classroom context, through the example of a whole-class lesson based around Bengali and English lullabies.
Blackwell Publishing. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8599; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North America; United Kingdom (England)