NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ880441
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
ISSN: ISSN-0142-5692
Exploring Bilingualism in a Monolingual School System: Insights from Turkish and Native Students from Belgian Schools
Agirdag, Orhan
British Journal of Sociology of Education, v31 n3 p307-321 May 2010
A growing body of empirical studies indicates the educational benefits of bilingualism. Despite this tendency, bilingual minority students are being pressured by school authorities to shed their mother tongues. We conducted qualitative interviews with Turkish-bilingual and native-monolingual students in Flemish (Belgium) secondary schools to investigate how students evaluate their languages, how Dutch monolingualism is imposed, and how students respond to the dominance of monolingualism. Our results indicate that the mother tongues of bilingual students are mainly perceived as a barrier to educational and occupational success, while the benefits of bilingualism are unknown. Thus, both Turkish-bilingual and native-monolingual students approved of speaking one language. We also found that monolingualism was strongly imposed on students by explicit encouragement, formal punishment when bilinguals speak their mother tongue, and exclusion of foreign languages from the cultural repertoire of the school. These results are discussed as they relate to policy-makers, scholars of bilingualism and institutional racism. (Contains 1 table and 4 notes.)
Routledge. 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 - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium