Practitioner perspectives on bilingual pupils’ use and learning of their home language in English primary schools

Isham, Colin George (2017). Practitioner perspectives on bilingual pupils’ use and learning of their home language in English primary schools. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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While research provides evidence for the educational and social value of bilingual children using and learning their home language, it also suggests approaches which support such additive bilingualism are not a common feature of English primary schools. This study sheds light on practitioner perspectives with regard to their bilingual pupils’ learning and use of their home language, the repertoires they employ when discussing their bilingual pupils’, and the extent to which practitioner talk promotes or undermines additive bilingualism. The study is based on a multi-method collection and analysis of data, consisting of a review of practitioner talk in existing literature, practitioner survey and discussion groups, and pupil survey and discussion groups to explore pupils’ perceptions of teacher perspectives. The study identifies key repertoires which represent positions both for and against additive bilingualism, and also describes how particular repertoires can support or undermine additive bilingualism depending on the starting point of the conversation. Quantitative analysis indicated differences in perspectives in relation to practitioners’ stage of career and the key stage they worked in. Structuration theory was drawn on to explain resistance to suggestions to change in practice, and make links between practitioner discourses and those in society more broadly.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education, Department of Education and Social Justice
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics


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