Bhatti, Ghazala and McEachron, Gail
Language support for immigrant children: a study of state schools in the UK and US
Language, Culture and Curriculum, 18, (2), .
In recent decades, immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers have sought a new way of life in large numbers, often leaving their countries of origin behind in search of places that offer a better way of life. The purpose of this study was to investigate
how elementary and middle school students in state schools in Reading, England (primarily speakers of Asian languages), and Richmond, Virginia (primarily speakers of Spanish), were supported academically, when most children’s first language was not English. The authors were interested in exploring whether or not there were cultural or structural differences in the way each country helped or hindered these students as they progressed through the school systems. Three UK schools in a
district of approximately 100,000 and three US schools in a district of approximately 250,000 were the focus of this exploration from 2000 to 2003. Findings indicated that
there were cultural and legislative differences and similarities. Teachers and administrators in both countries attempted to provide services with limited and sometimes diminishing resources. Community support varied based on resources, attitudes toward various ethnic groups, and the coping strategies adopted by these groups in their new environments. Marked differences appeared with regard to the manner in
which assessments took place and how the results were made available to the public.
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