Bilingualism and Language Education inFrench Primary Schools: Why and How Should Migrant Languages be Valued. Heliot, C & Young, A (2002) Diana Diaz Benavides & Michael Robayo
LANGUAGE POLICIES IN EDUCATION«France is not a monolingual country, countrary to widespreadopinion. Its future lies in the respect of cultural and linguisticdiversity and the development of multilingualism»•Priorities given to languague teaching (FLT)• European languages has an important status•Languages spoken by immigrants are categorized aslanguages of origine (MLT) Children are shooled throughfrench at early age (2 )•Children are not allowed to use the home language in theschool (migrant languages are obstacled to the acquisiton ofFrench) for those migrant communities french is not the secondlanguage.•Speaking a migrant language does not account for bilingualism concept.
Educational Context«Leave your language at the door»
NEGATIVE PERCEPTIONS OF BILINGUALISM• Children have difficulties in learning French because they speak ML at home• Unacknowledge of research in Europe about education of minority languages.• The lack of ML recognition (since it is part of their identity, affects children’s affective and learning development)• Code switching and code mixing is understood as children linguistic confusion• Teachers’ attitudes towards the ML• The homogeneous perspective of diversity• The bilingualism is possible for those who learn pretigious languages.
Which language(s) should I speak in the classroom?• You are an English teacher of a very diverse class with students from all over the world. You have a wide variety of Hispanics, including students from Colombia, Venezuela, Central America, Cuba, and Mexico. You also have Chinese, Vietnamese, Arabic, Persian, Russian, Japanese, and African students. Which language will you use to teach a topic in your class bearing in mind that you also know Spanish?
For the first few weeks of the class I translated new vocabulary to Spanish for theHispanic students. Then, I explained the new vocabulary to the other students as bestas I could in English.Though, the school director is an adament proponent of English only. I stopped thepractice and returned to an English only policy.But I have since re-examined the issue. Should other languages be completely bannedfrom the classroom? I have decided that the answer is a firm "no." Banning use ofother languages in the classroom creates a "sink or swim" atmosphere. The drop-outrate at this particular institution was high. I could see that in most instances thestudents who dropped were those who felt lost and confused in an English onlyenvironment.When I started a new class, I resolved to undertake a new strategy. By this time I hadexpanded my knowledge of languages to include languages from all around theglobe.My new strategy revolved around teaching in all the different languages of mystudents for the first week or two while repeating everything in English. It alsoincluded welcoming the students on the first day in their native languages. TheChinese and other Asian students especially were pleased and amazed at the fact thattheir teacher know some vocabulary of their native language.
Linguistic and Cultural Diversity EducationHistory and context of the projectObjectivesImplementationMethodologyEvaluation after one year (2000/2001)Language awareness as a complementary model tolanguage learningconclusion
ACTIVITY• Imagine you have a bilingual course with children in the Amazonas. Their parents are indigenous people who speak several indigenous languages, spanish, and portuguese. And you have to teach them English because of the PNB.
DISCUSSION• What kind of activities would you propose to integrate the languages and not only to teach English in the context mentioned above?• What do you know about education in departments such as Amazonas, Choco, el llano, San Andrés?• Do we have Migrant Languages in Colombia?• How many languages are spoken in Colombia? Which ones?
• Language spoken by people of Colombia: 101 of them as many as 81 are still spoken in the country.• Some of them: Achagua, Arhuaco, Cams, Carijona, Desno, Guayabero, Piaroa, Piratapuyo, Siona, Tariano and Totoro.• Official language = Spanish• Achagua spoken by the people who live in the eastern region of Colombia. It belongs to the group of languages called Maipurean Arawakan language group.• Extinct languages: there are 21, among these: are Andaqui, Barbacoas, Chipiajes, Omejes, Ponares, Runa, Natagaimas, Cauca and Anserma.
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