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Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

  • 1.  Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 12-06-2019 10:21
    Good Morning!

    I am looking for resources. My brother is on the board of directors for a school in England that wants to prohibit the use of foreign languages on school grounds. I am looking for studies to back up my opinion of what an awful decision this would be. Please send me any helpful studies.

    ------------------------------
    Colleen Mutlu
    ELL Teacher
    Ellsworth School Department
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  • 2.  RE: Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 13-06-2019 02:24
    How tragic. These misguided efforts to force assimilation are almost always rooted in 'best intentions' but are actually an attempt at ethnocide. This was done to First Americans (American Indians) with horrific cultural consequences. They are also almost always Eurocentric and discriminatory. I doubt that the prohibition will include 'culturally important' languages such as German or French since they are part of the accepted hegemony.

    Here is a good overview that explains why two languages are better than one : https://cultr.gsu.edu/benefits-of-bilingualism/

    Thanks for working to help people understand the importance of promoting kids' home languages.

    Charles

    ------------------------------
    Charles Hall, Ph.D., dr.h.c
    Legal English, Teaching Training
    International Summer Language School -- TEFL Cert.
    https://isls.zcu.cz/english-isls-2018/?lang=en
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 13-06-2019 09:46
    @Colleen Mutlu, I second @Charles Hall's gratitude for your commitment to educating others.

    1) Here's a helpful starting point: http://www.colorincolorado.org/article/impact-english-only-instructional-policies-english-learners

    2) This article straight out says English only is a bad idea:
    Weighing the Evidence: A Meta-Analysis of Bilingual Education in Arizona
    Rolstad, Kellie; Mahoney, Kate S; Glass, Gene V.Bilingual Research Journal Vol. 29, Iss. 1,  (April 2005): 43-67.
    Abstract: This article reviews the current policy context in the state of Arizona for program options for English language learners & produces a meta-analysis of studies on the effectiveness of bilingual education that have been conducted in the state in or after 1985. The study presents an analysis of a sample of evaluation studies (N = 4), which demonstrates a positive effect for bilingual education on all measures, both in English & the native language of English language learners, when compared to English-only instructional alternatives. We conclude that current state policy is at odds with the best synthesis of the empirical evidence, & we recommend that current policy mandating English-only & forbidding bilingual education be abandoned in favor of program choices made at the level of the local community.

    3) ​​Against the Undertow: Language-Minority Education Policy and Politics in the "Age of Accountability"
    Wiley, Terrence G; Wright, Wayne E.Educational Policy Vol. 18, Iss. 1,  (January 2004): 142-168.
    Abstract: This article reviews historical & contemporary policies, ideologies, & educational prescriptions for language-minority students. It notes language & literacy policies historically have been used as instruments of social control & that racism & linguistic intolerance have often been closely linked with antecedents in the colonial & early nationalist periods as well as in nativist thought of the 19th century. The article concludes that the contemporary English-only & antibilingual education movements share features reminiscent of the restrictionism of earlier periods. The article next assesses policies of the federal & state governments in accommodating language-minority students. Current debatesover appropriate assessment of language-minority students are backgrounded against the history of the testing movement. Recent research on high-stakes testing is reviewed with the conclusion that it is not improving the quality of teaching & learning & appears to be having a negative effect for language-minority students.

    4) What Price English? Remedying the Negative Effects of Language Planning
    Richardson, Louise Barbara.Geolinguistics Vol. 29,  (0, 2003): 59-69.
    Abstract: A review of recent literature on negative effects of early US language policy & measures to remedy them stresses the failure of 19th-century government boarding schools to provide effective English instruction for Native American students despite an English-only policy. Reform followed the implementation of the 1928 Meriam report on boarding school conditions & passage of the Johnson-O'Malley Act of 1934, which funded public school education for Native Americans. Funding for special programs in public & reservation schools was authorized in 1972 after more than a decade of academic attention to issues of Indian education, & the Native American Languages Act of 1990 finally made it US government policy to promote indigenous languages & to integrate them into school curricula; efforts since then to prevent language death are described for Lakota, Navajo, Yup'ik, & other Native American languages

    5) Learners' Attitudes Toward "English-Only" Institutional Policies: Language Use Outside the Classroom
    Shvidko, Elena.TESL Canada Journal = Revue TESL du Canada; Burnaby Vol. 34, Iss. 2,  (2017): 25.
    Abstract:It is commonly believed that intensive English programs (IEP) are designed to immerse learners in an English-speaking environment to help them effectively develop their language skills. Therefore, despite countless studies on the importance of a learner's first language (L1) in second language learning, some IEPs enforce English-only policiesthat prohibit L1 use both in and beyond the classroom. Knowing students' attitudes toward such policies is essential; however, research says very little to help us understand students' perspectives. Thus, in this study, IEP students of various proficiency levels and L1 backgrounds described their attitudes toward the institutional English-only policyat an intensive English program associated with a large U.S. university. Data were collected through a survey (n = 158), interviews (n = 6), and focus groups (n = 4). Positive attitudes included feeling that the English-only policy helped students to improve their English proficiency, prepare them for the high demands of using English proficiency in real-world interaction, and demonstrate respect for other students and teachers who cannot understand their first language, as well as for other students' learning goals and efforts. Nevertheless, several aspects of the policy were perceived negatively, including the ways teachers dealt with students speaking their L1 outside the classroom, methods of punishment that could impact students' grades, the unconditional character of the policy that denied learners their agency, and the lack of systematic implementation. Based on these findings, suggestions are provided for designing institutional environments that could more effectively maximize target language use rather than demoralize learners.

    6) The Political Spectacle of Arizona's Proposition 203
    Wright, Wayne E.Educational Policy Vol. 19, Iss. 5,  (November 2005): 662-700.
    Abstract: 
    Arizona's Proposition 203 places restrictions on bilingual & English-as-a-second-language programs & essentiality mandates English-only education for English language learners (ELLs). This article provides an analysis of this initiative & the wide variations in its interpretation & implementation. Data sources include official policy & related documents, media coverage, & observations of key policy events. The findings provide evidence that Proposition 203 & its implementation are political spectacle, rather than democratic rationale policy making with true concern for ELL students. The analysis focuses on the components of the political spectacle framework evident in the initiative, its campaign(s), & its implementation, including the use of symbolic language, the use of plots & story lines, the creation of leaders (heroes) & enemies, the evoking of symbols of rationality, & distinctions between on-stage & off-stage actions. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications for English language learners in Arizona

    I hope you find these helpful.

    Best,
    Jackie

    ------------------------------
    Jacqueline Gianico
    Associate Director of Academics
    Associate Teaching Professor of Applied Linguistics
    IECP Penn State
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 13-06-2019 10:42
    Thank you Charles & Jackie! I appreciate you taking the time to post and the resources you've provided.






  • 5.  RE: Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 13-06-2019 11:28
    I am not disagreeing with your main point that students should be allowed to speak their own languages outside the classroom, but I completely disagree that forced assimilation is "almost always Eurocentric." That very statement is in and of itself Eurocentric. Forced assimilation by means of linguistic ethnocide has occurred all around the world for millennia and continues to occur. Just for example, it happened in Korea under Japanese rule, in Turkey (the banning of Kurdish), and it is happening in different parts of China today (*e.g., Tibet). It has also happened between Europeans (e.g., the English banning the speaking of Welsh in schools in Wales).

    ------------------------------
    Paul Keyworth
    ESOL Teacher and Program Director
    Saint John's Preparatory School
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  • 6.  RE: Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 13-06-2019 14:18
    Thank you so much, Paul Keywoth, ​for your absolutely vital comments about the universal nature of forced language assimilation.

    I apologize for not expressing myself more explicitly. I was referring only to the cases involving English as the valorized language, but even then you are still correct that the  efforts at forced assimilation are not always totally Eurocentric.  We can see Singapore as an example where English and 'Mandarin Chinese" are imposed at the expense of the many Chinese "dialects" spoken as home languages.

    Thank you for reminding us that the efforts of these well-meaning schools in the UK and the USA are simply further examples of linguist discrimination that is as old as the history of human languages.

    Best wishes,

    Charles

    ------------------------------
    Charles Hall, Ph.D., dr.h.c
    Legal English, Teaching Training
    International Summer Language School -- TEFL Cert.
    https://isls.zcu.cz/english-isls-2018/?lang=en
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 14-06-2019 00:21
    Thank you for clarifying your thoughts on this matter, Charles Hall. Yes, this problem is indeed an age-old one. I do also agree with you that some teachers and administrators often have good intentions with regards to limiting L1 usage; however, as I always say to my colleagues, it is simply unnatural in most circumstances to speak a foreign language to one's compatriots, and we should not expect others to do what we would not do ourselves. After all, I highly doubt that when our English L1 students are studying abroad in different countries that they are speaking the local languages to one another in the hallways.

    Best regards,

    Paul

    ------------------------------
    Paul Keyworth
    ESOL Teacher and Program Director
    Saint John's Preparatory School
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 15-06-2019 12:47
    This is about more than the value of bilingualism; it is about facilitating effective ELF/ESL instruction.

    I think that "translanguaging" is a term that we need for this discussion.  There is peer reviewed journal research on the benefits of translanguaging (mixing both languages) in the EFL classroom.  It seems to have a place and have some benefits in instruction.

    As you know, immersion instruction (English only ESL/EFL) can have some benefits, but this is something that the learner must willingly choose.
    It can get really ugly if the teacher is forcing students to stop using their own language and the students are unwilling to do so.  It is best if students agree to have some time during which they try to go English-only so they can get more practice, develop strategies, and get accustomed to the stress of using the new language.  That immersion time can be followed by some translanguaging time during which students can ask questions and relax after the stress.

    But, translanguaging is more than just a teacher lecturing in both languages or students chatting with one another in their L1.  It should be student-driven and learning-oriented to be successful.  As you know, being engaged in authentic, communicative tasks in an L2 causes learners to "notice the gap".  Realizing that they don't know something they should know, or that they are unsure of what is correct or why it is correct, can be very motivating for learners.  When students "notice the gap" during immersion time, they can post their questions to a "parking lot".  The parking lot questions can be addressed with translanguaging after the communicative activity is complete.

    ------------------------------
    Christopher Browder
    ESOL Department Chairperson, Northwestern High School, PGCPS
    PGCPS
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 15-06-2019 12:55
    Dear Christopher,

    Can you send a few links to peer-reviewed journal research articles on translanguaging?  I think this would be really helpful for my own work with newcomers.

    Judy

    ------------------------------
    Judith O'Loughlin
    Teacher Education Consultant; WIDA Certified Consultant
    Language Matters Education Consultants, LLC
    United States
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 15-06-2019 13:21
    This is a link to read a really good one, but it requires access or payment:
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330022581_3_Translanguaging_Pedagogy_to_Support_the_Language_Learning_of_Older_Nepali-Bhutanese_Adults_Critical_Issues_and_Dynamic_Contexts

    Do you have access to any university research portals so you can view these articles?  A lot of good stuff has not been posted in PDF online for free because of copyright restrictions.  People need to read that stuff, but they don't because of these restrictions to access.  More peer-reviewed research needs to be open access.

    This is what I found online that is open to the public for free:
    https://www.languagemagazine.com/2018/09/10/a-pedagogy-of-translanguaging/
    https://research.ncl.ac.uk/media/sites/researchwebsites/romtels/web_Translanguaging%20Pedagogyfinal.pdf
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/life-bilingual/201603/what-is-translanguaging
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Translanguaging
    https://www.little-sponges.com/index.php/2018/05/10/5-ways-teachers-can-create-translanguaging-classroom/
    https://ealjournal.org/2016/07/26/what-is-translanguaging/
    https://traue.commons.gc.cuny.edu/volume-iv-issue-1-fall-2015/translanguaging-practice-briefs-for-educators/

    More for pay: 
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13670050.2018.1526885?journalCode=rbeb20


    ------------------------------
    Christopher Browder
    ESOL Department Chairperson, Northwestern High School, PGCPS
    PGCPS
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 15-06-2019 14:22
    Thank you so much.  I'll explore the free ones.  I'll ask my colleague at Ohio State U. to see if she can get access to the paid ones.

    More than I hoped for.  So appreciative.
    Judy

    ------------------------------
    Judith O'Loughlin
    Teacher Education Consultant; WIDA Certified Consultant
    Language Matters Education Consultants, LLC
    United States
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 18-06-2019 16:04
    ​I just wanted to suggest that there are some reasons to ask students to speak English *in class.*

    I teach Academic ESL at a community college; my students are from many different countries and language backgrounds, with no language being a majority language.

    When students group themselves within the classroom by language group, and speak their L1 in class, you get groups of students who interact much less with each other.  I remember one time I had them working in groups of 3.  In one group, one student was a Chinese speaker, and 2 were Spanish speakers.  The two Spanish speakers were discussing the topic in Spanish with each other, and leaving the Chinese speaker out altogether.

    In addition, if students go to degree-credit classes with primarily English L1 students, and go with a friend with whom they speak their own L1, the experience (which many of them express wanting) of talking with other (US) students is much less likely to happen.

    Although my rule is (in general), English only once you enter the classroom (and any language you want outside the classroom), I tell them if a fellow student is confused about the subject matter we are studying, just check with me first and I'll be happy for them to use their own L1 to explain.

    Karen

    ------------------------------
    Karen Stanley
    Professor, Academic ESL
    Central Piedmont Community College
    Charlotte, NC USA
    karen.stanley@cpcc.edu
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 13-06-2019 11:03
    How sad.

    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160811-the-amazing-benefits-of-being-bilingual

    https://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-benefits-of-bilingualism.html

    https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/11/29/497943749/6-potential-brain-benefits-of-bilingual-education

    http://www.cal.org/earlylang/benefits/benefits_of_being_bilingual.html

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583091/


    Are a few sources...

    ------------------------------
    Michelle Macy, Ph.D.
    University of South Florida
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 13-06-2019 15:00
    I would look at Bilingual Education in the 21st Century: A Global Perspective by Ofelia Garcia from Wiley-Blackwell. I would look specifically at the second chapter on Bilingualism and Translanguaging and work from the references for that chapter. I think the most relevant cite for you will be :Genesee, F. (2003) "Rethinking Bilingual Acquisition" in J.M. Dewaele (ed.). Bilingualism: Challenges and Direction for Future Research. Multilingual Matters, Clevedon, pp. 204-229.

    ------------------------------
    Amy West
    Program Coordinator
    Literacy Volunteers of the Montachusett Area
    United States
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 13-06-2019 17:26

    Hi, what an interesting situation.

    We've recently published a position paper on the role of L1 in EMI, which builds on research evidence and emphasises that students who are allowed to maintain mother tongue demonstrate better sense of identity and wellbeing, but – crucially – also perform better academically!

    The paper can be downloaded here: https://elt.oup.com/feature/global/expert/?cc=gb&selLanguage=en

    It's the one in the middle.

    Good luck building your argument.

    Best,

    Yordanka


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  • 16.  RE: Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 14-06-2019 05:06
    Hi Colleen
    i wrote an article for the general public on the issue of languages in Australia. After your brother has digested and synthesised the info in the wonderful studies that others have posted, he may find this a useful article for the school board. It was written for the Australian context which is not dissimilar to the English context, and it was written for a general public rather than specialists - and it is short :)
    You can find it here - it's called Linguistic Paranoia - Why is Australia so afraid of languages? The fact that it is about Australia also puts it at arms length for the school board, not a direct commentary on England, but close enough to allow reflection.
    https://theconversation.com/linguistic-paranoia-why-is-australia-so-afraid-of-languages-43236

    all the best with it
    Misty



    ------------------------------
    Misty Adoniou
    Associate Professor
    University of Canberra
    Principal Fellow
    University of Melbourne
    Australia
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 15-06-2019 13:13

    Hi Collen,

    Have you thought of composing a petition letter for everybody to sign---to change your brother's school English only language policy? You could attach that letter here if you want.  Another option is writing directly to the school's dean or headmasters explaining your reason (s) as to why the school must change the school-wide status quo language policy.  Re:  "Please send me any helpful studies."  Response:  I do not know what help you are looking for here, Collen.  It may end up a research issue in which the pros and cons must be closely examined and proven.  In your particular case, a negative diagnosis on the why an English spoken language only school-is harmful in the life of the school and its students. On vice versa, the positive argument of the study for supporting evidence.    

    Regards,

    MerriLee  Leonard
    Author: Beginner English Grammar for ESL Students
    M.A.Ed.,TESL
    Greenville University
    ====



  • 18.  RE: Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 18-06-2019 19:05

    Dear Colleen,

    Ofelia García is a renowned scholar of translanguaging. At the top of page 18 here, she and her co-author highlight a project in NY schools: "To highlight CUNY-NYSIEB's school-based work, we now turn to three examples of teacher development and student learning. In particular, we focus on how three different teachers adapted their pedagogy so that their Latinx students could build on their Spanish resources to access content and texts in English, develop their metalinguistic awareness, and cultivate a sense of pride in their bilingual, bicultural Latinx identities."
    https://ofeliagarciadotorg.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/observatorio-report-sustaining-latinx-bilingualism-ny.pdf

    On García's website (scroll to below the books), you can download her articles and chapters. Note that there are also videos shared on her site: https://ofeliagarcia.org/publications/  A likely useful article there: https://ofeliagarciadotorg.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/vogelgarciatrlng.pdf 

    From page 9 of that: "Much of the translanguaging that occurs in classrooms is pupil-directed (Lewis, Jones, & Baker, 2012B). For example, in the U.S. bilingual kindergarten class described in García's (2011) study, students used translanguaging to mediate understanding, construct meaning within themselves, include and exclude others, and demonstrate knowledge, among other meta-functions. The edited volume by Gort (IN PRESS) also gives evidence of the presence of translanguaging in bilingual classrooms in the United States, whereas the contributions in the book edited by Paulsrud, Rosén, Straszer, and Wedin (2017) include examples of translanguaging in other contexts, mostly Nordic countries. Translanguaging as a practice in schools is being recognized by scholars around the world, whether in South African classrooms (Krause & Prinsloo, 2016) or in classrooms of Quechua in Peru (Zavala, 2015). Among the edited volumes and journal articles discussing translanguaging practices in educational programs around the world are Blackledge and Creese (2014), Cenoz and Gorter (2015), and Cenoz and García (2017)." This is the 2011 study mentioned there, I believe: https://ofeliagarciadotorg.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/biltranslanguagingkind.pdf

    Pages 111-113 (Translanguaging in multilingual classrooms) highlight ways in which Garcia has found translanguaging by multilingual students to be valuable: https://repository.usfca.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1410&context=diss
    "In the book, The Translanguaging Classroom, Garcia et al. (2017) discuss various purposes for translanguaging that help to create culturally-sustaining environments. Garcia et al. (2017) state that translanguaging helps to facilitate stronger student engagement with complex content and texts. Their research shows that translanguaging gives students an opportunity to "draw on all of the resources for learning in their linguistic repertoires' (Garcia et al., 2017, p. 8). Students can collaborate with their classmates and teachers at varying degrees of proficiencies in multiple languages, gain new vocabulary, and a deeper understanding of the content through extended discussion and analysis."  (p. 111)

    All the best.



    ------------------------------
    Rene Caputo
    Instructor & Multilingual/ESL Specialist
    Duke University
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: Studies demonstrating the value of students speaking their native language at school

    Posted 25-07-2019 21:57
    Hi There,
    I am from Hawaii, where all of us have grown up with immigrants, bilinguals, or native persons who speak Hawaiian versus English language speakers.
    Due to this, we have a deep appreciation of culture and respect for one another.

    I am wondering- if the students are old enough, to conduct a survey of all the students, including English-only speakers for their opinion and reasons why or why not- for prohibiting the use of native language.

    At our schools- we often have a multicultural day, and love to hear the music, songs, poetry, and languages of our beloved neighbors, friends and even relatives- native-born Hawaiians/Americans also have grandparents who are immigrants. Babies are raised by them and our native-born children are often speaking another language before speaking English when they arrive for kindergarten at our school. It is a cultural shock, and having an aide who speaks their language, or myself- I speak a few languages, gives the young children comfort, and using it with my English only students add variety and richness to our school routines. We try to emphasize education for all students. And as global citizens of the 21st century- I believe that our students might live abroad, meet people of other cultures, work with non-native people/Americans, and like in the past marry foreigners. For our island, tourism is the most important in our economy and any exposure to spoken language is valuable.

    Hope this helps.     Lynne Marie Fukuda,  Hawaii

    ------------------------------
    Lynne Fukuda
    Instructor
    Honolulu University
    United States
    ------------------------------