Doing what comes naturally: how the discourses and routines of teachers’ practice constrain opportunities for bilingual support in UK primary schools
Language and Education, 15, (4), .
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Providing bilingual support for curriculum learning has become an increasingly popular approach to meeting the needs of bilingual learners in mainstream classrooms in the first years of schooling in the UK. In this paper I argue that to understand why bilingual support operates as it does in UK classrooms, we have to see it in the context of the parameters allowed it by the institutionally constructed discourses and classroom routines of mainstream teachers' practice. These discourses and practices are largely constructed outside the school, in theories of language learning and of models of 'good practice'. This approach holds lessons for the analysis of additional language provision for bilingual students in other countries. To design effective forms of bilingual support, there is a need to intervene in the reconstruction of the discourse of 'good practice' in mainstream classroom teaching.
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