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Observation of a biligual child - Essay Example

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Following the introduction to the Swan report published by the DFES (Department of Education Skills), English as an additional language (EAL) teaching and learning in UK schools, and how it takes place within the mainstream. This essay will reflect on the effects of numerous policies on bilingual education.
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Observation of a biligual child
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Download file to see previous pages The class that I am observing is a key stage one classroom which is a year one class and the children are aged between five and six. The classroom environment is filled with exciting displays and a separate display for language of the month which is currently Urdi. According to Baker (2006) the school setting is vital in developing the first language of any bilingual pupil. The children are split into different grouping according to their abilities. Flowers is the theme of this classroom daffodils, tulips, lilies and poppies this is their abilities settings for numeracy reading and literacy there is a BTA ( Bilingual teaching assistant) in class as well she will work with the EAL children ( English as an additional language) regardless of their abilities.
Research (Cummins 1981, Collier and Thomas 1989) show that, it takes as long as seven years for EAL pupils to acquire a level of English proficiency compared to their monolingual peers. Teachers cannot wait till EAL pupils to develop high levels of English language ability before embarking on the demands of the national curriculum but must enable pupils to participate in curriculum context learning while they are simultaneously learning English (Gravelle, 2000) children's use of language in school differs from the language used outside of school. In addition, different academic subjects' areas have specific genres or registers. An important aspect of an inclusive curriculum is that the mainstream class teacher and the EAL/EMAG specialist should work together; to ensure that academic context is linked to language objectives and that language objectives are compatible with academic context.
The lesson that I was observing was a literacy lesson and the teacher firstly went over the class rules which took approximately ten minutes then we started our literacy lesson the Bilingual Teaching Assistant (BTA) sat with the four EAL focus children on one table when there is a BTA in a classroom she always sits with the EAL children regardless of their abilities. The children in the group where Somalia and Tamil speakers (Some of them came from war torn countries and have seen a lot of war and poverty). The literacy lesson was to understand the features of a non- chronological report, such as an introduction impersonal language and present tense. The teacher asked the children what the features where of a non chronological report a Somalian child put his hand up and said "not in order" although his answer was partly correct when the teacher asked him to explain what he meant he was not able to answer even with the BTA help the teacher did not take into account of his English knowledge may not be enough to explain his thoughts further. The BTA was able to explain clearly in his home language as well as use a white board to record their thoughts and draw a diagram as a visual aid the BTA praised all the children relevantly.
Moreover as the focus children in group two were Somalia speakers the BTA was able to explain clearly in their home language as well as used a white board to record their thoughts and also used a sheet containing a diagram of visual aid. The BTA praised all the children relevantly however, being one of the largest multi ethnic school in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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