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Open Access research that challenges the mind...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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Inclusive practice? Supporting isolated bilingual learners in a mainstream school

Grieve, A. M. and Haining, I. (2011) Inclusive practice? Supporting isolated bilingual learners in a mainstream school. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 15 (7). pp. 763-774. ISSN 1360-3116

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Abstract

Abstract This article describes research which explored the development of bilingual learners as confident individuals and successful learners in a school where few children and no school staff shared their home language. Action research was carried out in two stages; to discover first how the pupils responded in an English-only environment and second, how the school could demonstrate that it valued home languages and promote bilingual skills. Traditionally it is accepted that bilingual pupils are best supported in a community to help maintain the home language and culture. This paper argues that if the school accepts bilingualism as a right and a resource, then with appropriate pedagogy, isolated learners can still be confident individuals and successful learners. The research suggests that the features which made pupils 'isolated learners' open the door to a genuine level of social capital that can sometimes be denied to minority groups.