Succeeding in Diversity: Culture, Language and Learning in Primary Classrooms

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9781858562940: Succeeding in Diversity: Culture, Language and Learning in Primary Classrooms
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What makes bilingual children high achievers in school? In this study, Jean Conteh traces a group of successful bilingual learners as they progress through Key Stage 2 in mainstream classrooms to show how successful children are helped by their interactions and experiences at home and school to move confidently between social worlds, cultures and languages in their daily lives.

These are the fortunate children: the skills, knowledge and strategies they display in all these interactions are, as Dr. Conteh describes, recognized and valued in classroom pedagogy and in assessing their achievements in school. But they are the exception -- most bilingual learners are still condemned to failure in school.

The implications for educational policy, teacher education and classroom practice of this case study are set out and linked in new ways with established knowledge and ideas about linguistics, learning and language in the mainstream classroom. Supported with practical suggestions and resources, this book will enable primary teachers to provide what bilingual children in their class need to learn successfully and will also be essential reading for policy makers and teacher educators.

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About the Author:

Jean Conteh teaches in the Department of Teacher Education at Bradford College, Yorkshire, England.

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"After spending approximately two decades living and working as a primary school teacher and primary school teacher trainer, Conteh uses her experience and research to assist primary teachers, teacher trainers, and students in primary education courses. Conteh believes that [the dialogue between mother and child] is important for education policy and practice. She also believes it can support children's learning in primary schools and create a positive ethos in classrooms where all children will feel safe, valued, and positive about themselves as learners. In other words, the cultural heritage and informal knowledge that children bring to the classroom are important for learning. Even more important is the ability of these children to become successful learners, no matter the teaching style or content being taught."

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