Understanding the benefits of bilingualism to inform educational practice
In recent years, Europe has seen rising levels of migration, resulting in an increasingly multilingual population of school-aged children.
While some view this positively, others view the presence of children whose first language is not English as a barrier to learning for monolingual pupils in the same classroom.
However, research does not support this latter view: there is no decline in educational standards in communities with large numbers of immigrant students (OECD, 2015), and there is growing evidence that being bilingual brings benefits including faster academic progression (Burgess, 2016; Strand, 2015).
Two proposed workshops address this apparent conflict between public opinion and research evidence with the end goal of providing high-quality, accessible research findings to present to policy-makers and teacher.
An additional aim of the second workshop is to open a dialogue between academics and practitioners about how best to support all children within a multilingual classroom, thereby improving educational achievement and social cohesion for all.
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