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This paper approves that the patterns they describe are very characteristic of language maintenance and attrition among immigrant minority language groups worldwide, in English-dominant settings, when factors such as the degree of community integration/isolation, the nature of links between language and religion and the degree of contact with the country of origin are well documented as affecting language maintenance and transmission.
This report makes a conclusion that the pupils generally saw little connection between their learning of the home language and formal foreign language learning in school. Just one pupil saw some positive connections between her earlier formal study of English as a foreign language in Iran and her present formal study of a European language, as this meant that formal grammar was not new to her. But as an effective learning method, this pupil personally advocated immersion rather than formal classes. One pupil commented that knowing several languages was a disadvantage, because she mixed them up; the others generally had little to say on the process of language learning, at most contrasting 'picking up' the language of the home with formal study. In the final instance of reported teacher interest, one modern foreign language teacher in School 3 was said to encourage her bilingual pupils, telling them that they should be confident about foreign language learning because of their earlier success. This was doubted however: 'you can't really; it's just the same as an English student you know, like knowing English, but having trouble with French'. ...Show more
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The school experience of this small group of bilingual pupils clearly met in many respects the 'minimalist' equal opportunities provision of the National Curriculum. This research study is a response to this objective from one of the research teams involved in the initiative, that based at the University of Birmingham and responsible for the main language-related project within the initiative…
National Curriculum
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