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Language Education Policy for Learners of EAL in Multilingual Scotland: opportunities, imbalances and debates. Andy Hancock University of Edinburgh

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Presentation on theme: "Language Education Policy for Learners of EAL in Multilingual Scotland: opportunities, imbalances and debates. Andy Hancock University of Edinburgh"— Presentation transcript:

1 Language Education Policy for Learners of EAL in Multilingual Scotland: opportunities, imbalances and debates. Andy Hancock University of Edinburgh

2 Presentation overview Taxonomy of Language Planning and Action (Lo Bianco, 2007) jurisdiction (legal authority and directives of the state) sovereignty (territories vested with local autonomy) influence (persuasion and promotion) retention and recovery (bottom up planning processes from diasporic/migrant communities) acquisition (top-down language planning involving foreign/additional language instruction)

3 The Reflexive Teacher ‘taking a listening stance implies entering the classroom with questions as well as answers, knowledge as well as a clear sense of the limitations of that knowledge’. Schultz et al (2008,155)

4 Who are our learners of EAL? Traditional settled minority communities with heritages in Pakistan, Bangladesh, China (Hong Kong), India New European Union accession states Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania (Romania, Bulgaria, 2014) Government’s ‘Fresh talent’ initiative ‘elite’ bilinguals Refugees and Asylum seekers dispersed to Scotland Afghanistan, Somali, Iraq (Kurds), Palestine, Zimbabwe So what are the challenges of super-diversity (Vertovec, 2007) for a Language Education Policy for learners with EAL?

5 Children living in multilingual worlds “Hakka is our first language, English because of the children, Cantonese is used at the Chinese school and we speak Putonghua to the kitchen staff. My daughter is going to dance classes and the teacher only speaks Putonghua so I have to teach her that language”

6 Diversity within diversity Two schools for Cantonese and Hakka-speaking children with heritage ties to Hong Kong One school set up by academics and professional parents for Mandarin-speaking children from mainland China who often have short-term residences. One school for Cantonese and Hakka-speaking children with heritage ties to Hong Kong and affiliated to the True Jesus Church Intersectionality (race, religion, age, gender,family structure, family income, geographical location, health, parents’ educational background and parental aspirations for their children)

7 (1) Jurisdiction Article 19 of the European Social Charter (revised, 1996) which refers to signatories’ undertaking ‘to promote and facilitate, as far as practicable, the teaching of the migrant worker’s mother tongue to the children of the migrant worker’ and recommendation 1740 (2006) of the Parliamentary Assemble ‘it is desirable to encourage, as far as possible, young Europeans to learn their mother tongue (or main language) when this is not an official language of their country’. EU states interpretation of language entitlement (Finland, Sweden, Netherlands) Opportunities opened up by an independent Scotland?

8 (2)Sovereignty National Cultural Strategy (2000) ‘to ensure that through their initial training and continuing professional development (CPD), teachers are well prepared to promote and develop all pupils’ language skills’ and ‘to consider how the languages of Scotland’s ethnic minorities can be supported and how their contribution to Scotland’s culture can be recognised and celebrated’ Additional Support for Learning legislation and code of practice (incorporation of EAL within the spectrum of need) Curriculum for Excellence ( ) ‘I enjoy exploring and discussing …the richness and diversity of the languages of Scotland’ The languages of Scotland will include the languages which children and young people bring into the classroom (Literacy and English Outcomes)

9 (2)Sovereignty Education, Culture and Sport Committee Report (2003) Commitment to introduce a national language strategy Draft Language strategy (2007) ‘We do not bear the same responsibility for the development of other world languages which are used by communities with their roots now in Scotland’ (page 5 paragraph 5). Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 Approach, Scottish Government languages working group report and recommendations (2012) A long and winding road….

10 (2)Sovereignty New political steer and a resurgence of interest in language as a marker of identity Scottish Government (2010) Report of the Ministerial Working Group on the Scots Language. Edinburgh: Scottish Government. Scottish Government (2011) Scots Language Working Group Report: Response from the Scottish Government. Edinburgh: Scottish Government. Second five-year National Plan for Gaelic in 2012

11 (3) Influence Gaelic lobby and parent power Shifting ideologies and language hierarchies (Japanese in 1990) New era of educational cooperation between China and Scotland (China Plan ; ; Scotland-China- Hong Kong Plan 2012 ) Confucius Hubs

12 (4) Retention and recovery Provision as a consequence of ‘Linguistic apartheid’ (Li Wei, 2006) Agency and the capacity of parents to act independently (Bourdieu,1990) Unique and ‘safe spaces’ for isolated learners (Cresse, 2006). Backward-looking traditions or allied to global youth culture (Martin-Jones et al. 2012) Opportunities for languaging (García, 2009) and negotiation of identities

13 (4) Retention and recovery Over 100 classes, schools or centres and provision for 21 languages (McPake, 2006) High level of commitment but patchy provision and lack of official recognition Poorly resourced and budgetary constraints ‘Volunteer’ students and parents as teachers Faced with two competing languages one of which is the language of power and education. Language shift within three generations (García, 2009)

14 (5) Acquisition (of English) A need for additional support does not imply that a child or young person lacks abilities and skills. For example, bilingual children or young people, whose first language is not English, may already have a fully developed home language and a wide range of achievements, skills and abilities. Any lack of English should be addressed within a learning and teaching programme which takes full account of the individual’s abilities and learning needs. (Scottish Government 2011: 25) Supporting Children’s Learning Code of Practice (Revised edition)

15 Count Us In: A sense of belonging Meeting the needs of children and young people newly arrived in Scotland (HMIe, 2009) Strengths: Staff from EAL/Bilingual services provide valuable support for learning and specialist advice to class teachers Schools are making use of dual language resources to help learners access the curriculum

16 Count Us In: A sense of belonging Meeting the needs of children and young people newly arrived in Scotland (HMIe, 2009) Aspects for improvement: Taking better account of children’s prior knowledge and experience as well as their language proficiency Ensuring that learning activities provide appropriate support and challenge Making better use of children’s first language to enable them to understand and take part more fully in activities Using appropriate assessment methods

17 (5) Acquisition (MFL): Current picture Patchy provision in primary schools 25 foreign languages which can be taught and chosen as a subject for examination (SQA 2011) European languages (French, Spanish and German); Scandinavian languages (Finnish and Swedish); classical languages (Greek and Latin), languages of ‘migrants’ (Urdu, Mandarin/Cantonese, Polish) Choice? 97.3% S grade (French, Spanish and German) Latin uptake greater than Gaelic, Italian and Urdu Divergence in pedagogical practices in primary and secondary schools?

18 Working Group Recommendations Earlier access to language learning for children at the primary stage Diversity of techniques (including CLIL) Enhanced partnership between primary and secondary schools Closer collaboration across all sectors of education (FE?HE) More extensive and more effective use of technology Regular access to native speakers Engagement with children, young people and parents from minority groups?

19 Which languages and the menu of possibilities? Recommendation 2: The Working Group recommends that Local Authorities and schools develop a 1+2 strategy for language learning within which schools can determine which additional languages to offer. As part of this strategy, consideration should be given to teaching modern European languages, languages of the strong economies of the future, Gaelic, and community languages of pupils in schools. RESPONSE Accept. Scottish Government will support and work with local authorities to help them develop language plans that take account of local circumstances and priorities.

20 A Approach or 2+ 1 Approach? Recommendation 32: The Working Group recommends that EAL work and delivery is incorporated into local authority strategies for the 1+2 policy delivery in schools. RESPONSE Accept. As with Recommendation 13 it is important that local language plans are inclusive of the needs of all learners and take account of local communities and circumstances.

21 Policy into practice….(but with an EAL lens) Is there enough funding for the Scottish Government proposal? Do existing teachers have the skills and resources available for language tuition? What is the capacity within the curriculum to accommodate greater language study? The choice of languages for teaching - which should children be learning and why? The role of languages in economic development – which languages should pupils be learning to benefit themselves and Scottish economy? European and External Affairs Committee February 2013 Responses by February 2013 and Panel of Experts

22 Challenges and Issues Responsibility of developing plans placed on LAs and schools (understanding the local context) How does EAL align with Language Plans Budgetary constraints (concordat?) Embracing languages of learners: what languages? GTC(S) professional recognition of qualifications beyond UK Teacher expertise and CPD needs Learning from research (Scotland, UK, international) All political rhetoric but no action?

23 Making a difference…… ‘most language policy research remains national in scope, focusing on top-down policies and analysing written policy statements overlooking the central role of classroom practitioners’. Menken and Garcia (2010:1)

24 Taking action… Ways of learning from children/young people and affirming identities Identity texts (Cummins et al 2005) Bilingual story telling (Sneddon, 2009) Ways of working Operational partnerships with complementary schools (The National Centre for Languages 2008; Kenner & Ruby 2012) Ways of knowing Sharing practice, expertise and knowledge (NALDIC, SATEAL)


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