Parental views on bilingual education in Arabic and Swedish

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Parental views on bilingual education in Arabic and Swedish

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Title Parental views on bilingual education in Arabic and Swedish
Author(s) Tvingstedt, Anna-Lena
Date 2010
English abstract
Research topic/aim: Language minority pupils represent an increasing part of the school population in Swedish schools, and the hitherto domineering monolingual norm is challenged by a bi- or multilingual reality. In urban schools 75%-100% of the pupils may have another first language than Swedish and today Arabic is one of the largest minority languages. Minority language pupils are faced with the challenge to develop a second language and simultaneously have to use this language as a vehicle for knowledge acquisition. In order for schools to meet this changing reality and to adapt to the needs of multilingual pupils, several schools are offering an increasing part of the education in the pupils’ first language. Different models of bilingual teaching are being developed based on what is considered possible and feasible within the prerequisites, conditions and resources of each school. In a longitudinal research project, the implementation of different organizational models of bilingual education in Swedish and Arabic in three urban school contexts has been followed. Consequences of developing bilingual education for the schools, the staff and for classroom teaching, as well as consequences for the pupils’ knowledge acquisition and language development in both languages, is being considered in an interdisciplinary study within an educational and societal context. Theoretical framework: The project is framed by Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological systems theory complemented primarily by theories of language development and second language acquisition and learning in school settings, but also by theories of school change and development. Information is collected on a societal, organizational, classroom and individual level. In this paper the parents’ views on bilingual education in general and on the bilingual teaching their children are being subjected to in particular is focused. Parents’ attitudes and activities are of fundamental importance not only for the language development of the children but also for their school achievements. A well functioning cooperation between home and school is also considered crucial for school success. In order for a bilingual approach to be successful the school needs the approval and support of the parents. Methodology/research design: Results from a questionnaire study directed to the parents of the children in the project are presented. The questionnaires were translated to the parents’ first language and were answered by a vast majority of the parents addressed. Expected conclusions/findings: The data presented encompasses information about the parents’ background, language use, views on school, on bilingual education and on the bilingual teaching model used in their children’s school and some differences between different groups of parents are discussed br> Relevance for Nordic Educational research: The political discussion of the school situation of minority language pupils in urban schools in Sweden is generally dominated by a deficiency discourse often underpinning the lack of resources and engagement among the parent group. When the parents are given the opportunity to express their opinions even through questionnaires only, a different picture emerges that may contribute to a more nuanced view.
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Host/Issue Abstracts, Active Citizenship
Pages Abstract 207, p 187
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Bilingual Education
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Note NERA's 38th Congress - Active Citizenship (Nordisk Förening för Pedagogisk Forskning) 11-13 March 2010 Malmö University School of Teacher Education, Malmö, Sweden
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