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Raymonde Sneddon and Luljeta Nuzi

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1 Raymonde Sneddon and Luljeta Nuzi
Magda and Albana becoming biliterate with dual language books and Shpresa Raymonde Sneddon and Luljeta Nuzi

2 The context Making and using dual language books
Developing a collection and a website at UEL Action research at UEL Redbridge Developing Reading Skills through Home Languages 2008 Subjects: children who have little opportunity to learn the language of their home – working with teachers who support bilingualism through dual language books


4 The research context Cummins’ empowerment model
Bialystok’s work on bilingual literacy Research on multiliteracies and bilingual learning by Eve Gregory and Charmian Kenner Learner and personal identity in complementary schools of Peter Martin and Angela Creese Many of us here have found the relationship between research and practice empowering for us. The great variety of language experience and skills that children have and the value and power of multilingualism are becoming recognised. At the back of your ppt notes is a list of references for those of you interested.

5 An exploratory study Research questions
What can observation of children reading in 2 languages simultaneously reveal about the transfer of concepts and skills? Does the relationship between English and the home language affect the ease and nature of transfer? Does reading 2 languages simultaneously have an impact on children’s understanding of how language works and on their comprehension of a text? Impact on development of learner and personal identities? The study aimed to explore the potential of dual language books as a tool to develop or enhance the learning of literacy in two languages simultaneously, with the following objectives: * to advance understanding of multiliteracy development through identifying the strategies used by children who are learning to read their languages using dual text and the evidence and nature of the transfer of concepts and skills; * to explore how the difference in scripts and the relationship between the language pairs affects the transfer of concepts, strategies and skills (for Example English/French, English/Turkish, English/Urdu or English/Mandarin); * to explore the impact on metalinguistic understanding and comprehension of reading a story simultaneously in two languages; * to support the formation, negotiation, and affirmation and sharing of fluid and multiple personal identities in multicultural classrooms.

6 Methodology Ethnographic study
Identification of children and interviews with parents and teachers 4/6 observations and recordings Transcription and field notes

7 The children Magda and Albana reading Albanian with their mothers
Mydda reading Urdu with her mother Lek and Durkan reading Turkish with each other Sarah reading French by herself Mohamed reading Gujerati with his mother Misquoting Margaret Meek (Practice, pleasure and persistence)

8 “She has learned words in Albanian that I don’t know
“She has learned words in Albanian that I don’t know!” (Albana’s mother) Understanding the different phonics and word order Transfer of strategies at decoding and context level Using Albanian much more in the home Reading at the top end of the class in English Have now become fluent readers in Albanian – expanding learning new vocabulary in both languages Diaries in Albanian developed into dual language books Girls are very proud and would like to sit exams in Albanian Public poetry recitals in Albanian and dancing in traditional costume in public events Bilingual and bicultural identity Both now attend Albanian classes and clubs on a Sunday Both mothers’ English is improving and both are now closely involved with the school. Magda’s mother is now working as a classroom assistant and helping to run an Albanian club, Albana’s mother training as a nursery assistant.


10 Magda and Albana’s Albanian diaries
New developments: writing, a diary, special events. Hope to have two little books by them by the Summer holiday.

11 Magda’s story The books were produced over several months and lovingly illustrated and revealed the very personal and complex relationship between their lives as east Londoners and their Albanian country girls. The EMA teacher in school helped with the production, laminated several copies and recorded the girls. Like many teachers have found who have been making dual languages books with children in the classroom since the earliest 1980s, the greatest value of dual language books is the inspiration they provide for children’s own writing, for the creation of the personal identity texts, like the ones we saw here two years ago, children value all their lives.

12 Valuing real life multilingual experiences in the classroom
Role of the school in creating a language friendly educational environment Role of the teacher in encouraging and supporting parents to read in the home language with their children and in valuing children’s progress and skills Importance of teacher knowing the language and literacy background of families Awareness of the different challenges presented by different languages and the need for targeted resources Availability of suitable resources, including bilingual staff Availability of resources that value children’s cultural heritage and encourage exploring and sharing of personal identities.

13 “we might want to be authors”


15 Albana , Magda and the connection with the Shpresa Programme
Shpresa Programme started working in Redbridge in partnership with Mayfield School from 2005 Christchurch School got to know about Shpresa’s work on refugee week and asked for help, to get traditional costumes and we offered support with dancing as well. Staff got to know the children and invited them to come at Mayfield School as well as contining to offer the lunch club on Albanian awareness to the children in Christchurch.

16 Background Shpresa is a user –led organization Set up in 2003
Users of the services provided - Albanian speaking refugees, asylum seekers and migrants from Albania, Kosova, Macedonia Registered as Charitable Company Charity No Company No

17 Mission To enable the Albanian speaking community in the UK to settle and fully participate in society and realize their full potential. We want to promote a positive identity and recognition of our community’s cultural and linguistic heritage, both among Albanian speakers and the wider society so that we can contribute to community cohesion in the UK

18 Projects up and running
Women’s Project Children’s project Youth project Volunteering project Advice and advocacy project Cultural events

19 Education project The Project aims to:
Improve children’s language and literacy skills in Albanian Improve children’s attainment in their mainstream school Improve parent/child communication within the family Improve parent/teacher communication Raise awareness of Albanian culture in the community

20 Working with mainstream schools

21 What was on offer at Mayfield School
Albanian language classes Traditional dancing Women’s support group Parenting support group Drama Mentoring Training Self - defence Cultural events And every year a number of public performances were held

22 Selecting schools Identify schools with high numbers of Albanian speaking children Identify Albanian speaking families taking children to these schools and talk about the project or parents who have heard about the service approach us. Arrange for a meeting with school representatives and discuss the possibility of working in partnership Offer a three month pilot project

23 Reasons why schools trust us
Track record Successfully run at other schools Safeguarding children policy in place (CRB checks for all staff and volunteers) Clear target group Clear aims and outcomes Community back up References/good track record Offer solution for a number of school targets

24 How schools benefit from our work
Activities in line with school’s aims Raising attainment Improving attendance and punctuality Student voice Helping the school to engage with parents Offering training and Albanian cultural awareness for teachers and pupils Organizing assemblies at the school Helping the school to meet the Community Cohesion Agenda and parental engagement

25 Children’s involvement
Albana and Magda settled very quickly They really enjoyed themselves and made new friends. Their confidence increased and they become role models within the group very quickly They loved performing and public speaking at different audiences They helped greatly to improve the quality of services at Mayfield

26 In class at Mayfield

27 Children’s voices Shpresa is a user led organization and makes sure that at all times the users contribute to its development and governance Under the children and young people’s project we have quarterly planning and evaluation meetings as well as holding the yearly Children’s Congress. Based on the children’s expressed needs we then develop the project further and improve our services as well as electing the chair of the Albanian Young people’s forum.

28 Key factors in Shpresa’s success
Inclusiveness – Shpresa has a very strong culture of family, friendship, solidarity and warmth which gives rise to high levels of trust and openness. It also sends out messages of inclusiveness to newcomers, so that they can take full advantage of the opportunities as quickly as possible

29 Cultural Identity – Shpresa’s programme of activities, and provision of a ‘space’ for the Albanian-speaking community provides a clear reinforcement of identity of what it means to be Albanian through language, dances and cultural climate and activities. This reinforces family ties by giving better means of communication between parents and children and building new links to grandparents. This clarity of identity is experienced as providing a way of finding one’s place in British society and giving rise to respect from others outside the Albanian community

30 Problem Solving Know-How – In Shpresa it is clear that the staff act as role models to service users and volunteers, and demonstrate consistent patterns of behaviour Focus on women and young people – The Shpresa Programme provides a range of specific projects for children, young people and women. Hence, there appears to be a focus on these groups. Although this focus was probably not intentional, it has had the effect of reaching those who are the most significant holders and transmitters of cultural values.

31 Progressive Steps – Participants reported how they have continued to take on progressively greater challenges to suit their stage of development both within Shpresa, such as in the volunteering programme, or outside, such as in courses to further their career aspirations. It is clear that the staff take an active hand in encouraging and supporting this climate of self-development. There is a strong feeling amongst women who are current and ex-service users that by being in the UK and in contact with Shpresa, that they can achieve things that would not have been possible at home in their personal development and careers. This is partly because they can access courses and training; partly due to encouragement from staff members; and partly because of the increase in confidence that contact with Shpresa and use of its services, offers

32 Understanding the UK & Getting the UK to Understand Albanians – Many people reported how the Shpresa Programme had fostered integration rather than separation. Many commented on the programmes, visits and activities that provide insight and understanding and encourage appropriate involvement with UK society. There was evidence that the Shpresa Programme helps service users of all ages to understand and feel comfortable with British culture.

33 Teacher’s comment “I felt a great sense of achievement working with the group- they were so proud to put on the traditional costumes and perform. The children in school who watched the performance were also very impressed, and had more respect for those pupils after the event. I'm not sure about the effect it had on the children's work in class as I do not teach any of the older ones, but it has had a big impact on self esteem and pride in cultural heritage. This year in Yr 1 several friends of the Albanian pupils have asked to join the club- it now has a higher status. The children are proud to be able to speak Albanian, which is great. So often peer pressure takes over and so many parents say their children will only speak to them in English once they start school. I was also delighted when so many parents, aunties, baby brothers etc turned up laden with food for the end of term party- it felt like a real community event, and the parents were so pleased with what had taken place. It has given the parents an opportunity to get to know each other better too.

34 Parents’ Comments “Shpresa has become my extended family that i don’t have here in UK, is the place where I go with my problems and I will not only be supported but encouraged and trained to learn how to solve them by myself”. “I have had the chance to learn from others, exposed to so many opportunities and supported to overcome difficulties, do volunteer work with in Shpresa and then to a number of other institution, such as other volunteer organization and school. They have helped me to decide what I want to do in the future. I would like to become a teacher and currently I am doing TA NVQ level 3 course working as volunteer at Shpresa and at mainstream school.”

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