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LITERACY BEYOND SCHOOL: Literacy learning strategies in the mosque Author: Charo Reyes Tutor: Sílvia Carrasco EMIGRA RESEARCH GROUP. UNIVERSITAT AUTÒNOMA.

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Presentation on theme: "LITERACY BEYOND SCHOOL: Literacy learning strategies in the mosque Author: Charo Reyes Tutor: Sílvia Carrasco EMIGRA RESEARCH GROUP. UNIVERSITAT AUTÒNOMA."— Presentation transcript:

1 LITERACY BEYOND SCHOOL: Literacy learning strategies in the mosque Author: Charo Reyes Tutor: Sílvia Carrasco EMIGRA RESEARCH GROUP. UNIVERSITAT AUTÒNOMA DE BARCELONA.

2 A question: Why is there under- representation in post-compulsory education among some foreign communities?


4 3 principal bases: 1/ Theory of Reproduction + Resistance Theory + Critiques of the Deficit theory (Bourdieu, Willis, Ogbu, Foley...) 2/ Research focussed on the Potential of the whole student group and on the Potential of minority and foreign students (Ainscow, Delpit, Gregory and Kenner, Emigra group (Carrasco, Pàmies…)) 3/ Sociolinguistic aspects (Gregory & Kenner, Cummins, Delpit, Nussbaum, Unamuno; Mijares I Valdés, Woolard)

5 At first sight teachers welcoming classes THE SCHOOL compensatory classes students meetings general comments… Focussing in and beyond THE STUDENTS Its like the h in English. How do you pronounce that ( ح ) ?

6 YearPopulation , , ,794 Statistics taken from the Idescat (Catalan Institute of Statistics) Small sea-side town in the northeast of Catalonia in an area called el Maresme Population evolution in the town in the last 50 years

7 Catalan families who have lived in the area for generations. Mix of classes and status but predominately middle class. Catalan families with Spanish background. Mix of classes and status but predominately working class/middle class. Foreign families and Catalan families with Moroccan, Gambian, Senegalese, etc, background. Predominantly working class with some emergent middle class. State and private schools in the town Private schools State schools E.S.O. (G.C.S.E.) students 376 students Batxillerat (A-levels) students 164 students Statistics taken from the Idescat (Catalan Institute of Statistics) 2006


9 Research population Research population Students from Moroccan, Senegalese and Gambian families Criteria of the specification Criteria of the specification The most problematic collective from the teachers point of view. The possibility of comparing their learning mechanisms in a space developed inside their communities.

10 They arrive with lots of educational deficiencies Families are very closed minded, they have a very low cultural level Mothers are too young They are shut in there… They just learn the Koran… They take them over there for four years It is not what they are, it is what they are not DEFICIT THINKINGDEFICIT THINKING

11 They have lost the value of Hard Work There is no family support Responsibility for the failure lies outside: Families, Society, Educational Department View focussed on whats wrong with the students (deficit thinking) >STREAMING

12 GENERAL DEFICIT SITUATION + SPECIFIC DEFICIT: Lack of family and cultural support Lack of language Lack of academic background

13 Pull-out programmes where migrant students are withdrawn from mainstream classes […] produces hardly any additional teaching time, it requires students to miss parts of the normal curriculum, it may have a stigmatising effect, it is often taught by less qualified teachers, and there may be little coordination between the language teacher and the classroom teacher (Loewenberg and Wass, 1997; Karsten, 2006) (Nusche, 2009:27) (OCDE REPORT)


15 Lack of positive cognitive assessments. From good lads to no-hopers. From smart and bright to opportunist and dodgy. Impression that the learning process gets easily stuck. Impression that there are problems of abstraction Linguistic lack (Their own language is not considered sophisticated)

16 Deficit in: 1. Methodologies and staff. 2. Linguistic monitoring and knowledge of the language learning process. 3. Knowledge of the situation and needs of the families. 4. Participation of the students in the class and in the school, teaching the curriculum and high expectations

17 The religion is seen like a pollutant element preventing student integration. However The research has shown other dimensions of the religious element. These show that religious education not only might not go against academic study but might also complement or push it forward.

18 SCHOOL ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE MOSQUE WHAT WAS OBSERVED IN THE MOSQUE Religion is seen as: 1. Insular element that rejects everything from outside. 2. Authoritarian, sexist and hierarchical. 3. Incompatible with academic progress. The research shows: 1. Openness and Accessibility. 2. High level of participation of the students in the running of the class. 3. High consideration, not only of religious study but also of school study.

19 Good school performance > good performance in the Arabic classes. Obedience in the school is reflected in the Mosque or vice versa. (However with different consequences: Obedience in school is appreciated but not associated with an academically good student). Low performance in the Mosque and/or giving up the Arabic classes > low performance in the school. However… In the mosque, study is always valued among the students even when there is low performance. This has not been observed the school.

20 To learn Catalan or to learn Spanish? The choice beyond the linguistic option. Talking Catalan Ogbus concept of the acting white Kate Woolard (2008) contributions: The Catalan language: between legitimization from the ideology of authenticity and the ideology of anonymity. The new challenge> a new, more inclusive ideology of the languages.

21 School attitudes towards the mosque > SCHOOL: Modernity and professionalism MOSQUE: Tradition and lack of academic rigour The objective of the study was to detect the literacy strategies of the foreign students; and specifically to see if the students were able to connect their domestic and community knowledge with their linguistic and school learning. So, from this : Where has more learning autonomy been seen? In the school or in the mosque?

22 THE SCHOOL THE MOSQUE Language use based on the knowledge and the participation of the students. Shared status among languages. Every language that the students have (Moroccan Arabic, Darija, Amazigh, Mandinka, Catalan, Spanish...) has an active function inside the classes. Much more horizontal teacher-student relation. Teachers confer their religious and linguistic knowledge of Arabic and students supply corrections in the language of the instructions (Spanish and Catalan). Contents chosen by the experts but methodology negotiated by teachers and students. The boys and the girls bring ideas from the school to the Arabic class and the environment motivates their participation. It seems everyone knows the rules of the class game, which allows everyone to take responsibility. Much more hierarchic relation between languages Linguistic knowledge of the students either is invisible or in an exotic position. Lack of space to use their linguistic capital Unidirectional relation between teachers and students. Teachers confer their knowledge on students. Contents and methodologies chosen by the experts (teachers and other educational professionals) Many of the school rules are hidden or taken for granted, which excludes many students from real participation.

23 To correct the Spanish of the Arabic teacher To translate the words that the teacher does not know. To demand teaching methods they have learn in the school (emphasis on meaning over form, more vocabulary work...) To compare Catalan grammar with Arabic grammar. To transcribe Arabic writing with Catalan phonetics. To compare Catalan, Spanish, English and Arabic phonetics. To help each other, to adopt the role of the teacher. Etc.


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