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ERIC Number: EJ824670
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0790-8318
Bilingual Learning for Second and Third Generation Children
Kenner, Charmian; Gregory, Eve; Ruby, Mahera; Al-Azami, Salman
Language, Culture and Curriculum, v21 n2 p120-137 2008
Throughout the English-speaking world, children from bilingual backgrounds are being educated in mainstream classrooms where they have little or no opportunity to use their mother tongue. Second and third generation children, in particular, are assumed to be learning sufficiently through English only. This study investigated how British Bangladeshi children, learning Bengali in after-school classes but mostly more fluent in English than in their mother tongue, responded when able to use their full language repertoire within the mainstream curriculum. Through action research with mainstream and community language class teachers, bilingual literacy and numeracy tasks were devised and carried out with pupils aged seven to eleven in two East London primary schools. The bilingual activities were video-recorded and analysed qualitatively to identify the strategies used. The following cognitive and cultural benefits of bilingual learning discovered by researchers in other contexts were also found to apply in this particular setting: conceptual transfer, enriched understanding through translation, metalinguistic awareness, bicultural knowledge and building bilingual learner identities. The findings suggest that second and third generation children should be enabled to learn bilingually, and appropriate strategies are put forward for use in the mainstream classroom.
Multlingual Matters. Available from Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Bangladesh; United Kingdom (England)