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Acts of transliteration: bridging scripts for learning in London schools Charmian Kenner, Mahera Ruby, Eve Gregory, Salman Al-Azami Department of Educational.

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Presentation on theme: "Acts of transliteration: bridging scripts for learning in London schools Charmian Kenner, Mahera Ruby, Eve Gregory, Salman Al-Azami Department of Educational."— Presentation transcript:

1 Acts of transliteration: bridging scripts for learning in London schools Charmian Kenner, Mahera Ruby, Eve Gregory, Salman Al-Azami Department of Educational Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London

2 Developing bilingual learning strategies in mainstream and community contexts (ESRC-funded study ) Charmian Kenner, Salman Al-Azami, Eve Gregory, Mahera Ruby Department of Educational Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London

3 The research setting Two primary schools in Tower Hamlets, East London Second/third generation British Bangladeshi children, mostly more fluent in English than Sylheti/Bengali (Bangla) Children also attend community classes in Bengali and/or Arabic Bangla spoken widely in the community, Standard Bengali on TV, in newspapers Bangla little-used in school (for transitional purposes only)

4 Research questions In what ways do children draw on linguistic and conceptual knowledge from each of their languages to accomplish bilingual learning? How are childrens identities as learners affected by using their home language as well as English in the classroom? How can bilingual and monolingual educators help children to develop bilingual learning strategies?

5 Methodology: action research Observe children in community class Plan bilingual tasks in literacy and numeracy for each group, relevant to mainstream curriculum, linking with community class learning Involve community and mainstream teachers in planning Children do task, watch video and comment (stimulated recall) Discuss data with teachers at end-of-term seminar Repeat process in second term

6 The Lion and the Mouse Participants Four children, 7 years old Their primary school teacher (monolingual) The Bengali class teacher (after-school class held in primary school)

7 Bridging communication with parents Children compose questions in Bangla about the Lion and Mouse story to ask parents Children write questions in transliteration

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10 Enabling children to read in Bangla and act as translators Children could read and understand Lion and Mouse written by an older sibling They discussed and produced their own translation which they then explained to their primary school teacher

11 Enabling children to act as writers in Bangla children collectively produced their own version of Lion and Mouse in Bangla using pictures from a Big Book they had read at school in English the story was thus a bridge between Bengali class and English school

12 Representing Bangla sounds in Bangla, writing in English but Bangla words Childrens different versions They said No! Jameela thara khoson Na! JunelTara coisoin NA! Miqdadtara khoisoin NA! Amaltara koyson Na!

13 Through second order representation children can: Engage with concepts Demonstrate and increase metalinguistic knowledge

14 Enriched conceptualisation The lion caught the mouse The lion was caught in a net Children knew dorse suitable for first meaning but not second

15 Making sense Tow oondureshinghorlogemattse Then mouselionswithtalking Then the mouse started talking to the lion with or to? Why started?it makes more sense Why change the order? it wont make sense metalinguistic understanding and conceptual re-interpretation

16 Awareness of language features bondosfriends netorof net inside (in the net) giraffa or giraffe ar ? explicit awareness of suffixes expressed through written representation

17 Intralingual as well as interlingual Ill do it in Sylheti how we speak Saying hara (Sylheti) but writing thara (Standard Bengali)

18 Learner identities How do you feel about transliteration? Ju: Its exciting – its something that I learned M: Cool. Different. We never done it before. Chn: Its easy – we just think and we know how to write it Does it help you to write Bangla like this? Chn: Because then we know what it says. If we write in Bangla we dont know what it says but if we write like this…..

19 Sharing knowledge with monolingual teacher J: the lion is sleeping in the cave (reading out the childrens translation) T: wheres the word the? (matching up Bangla to English words and realising the is missing) M: no the! A: if a person was talking to another person and the person was saying a word, and said it without the, erm the other person would know because….

20 Transliteration as a new linguistic practice liberating and empowering? diluting the learning of Bengali script? Example of child writing words in transliteration and then working out how to represent the sounds in Bengali script An essential bridge for second and third generation children enabling children to maximise cognitive and linguistic benefits of bilingualism


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