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Language and Education in Multilingual Settings by Bernard Spolsky (Editor)

By Bernard Spolsky (Editor)

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Additional info for Language and Education in Multilingual Settings (Multilingual Matters)

Sample text

Soviet educators argue that children in such schools learn more Russian than in national or minority-language schools and that such schools avoid the undesirable consequences of segregation inherent in national or minority-language schools. It should be noted that in such parallel-medium schools, children are taught the same curriculum in their own home languages. There is no mixing of languages in instruction. Dual medium instruction, involving the use of two languages at different timesthe practice in most transitional bilingual programmes in the United Stateshas been forbidden in the Soviet Union since the 1930s (Lewis, 1972).

That reading and text-processing skills play a major role in determining school achievement, and that the development of these skills is affected in little-understood ways by home background, including SES, but may be interactionally stimulated or retarded both by pedagogical practices and by sociolinguistic/cultural attitudes, expectations, and behaviors manifested by the teacher and others (including peers and school administrators) in the school setting. (1981: 10) Troike concluded that the competencies posited by Cummins are largely an artifact of test results that reveal acculturative approximations to middle-class Western cultural norms and behaviours.

It is already quite clear that in an exposition of the complex character of the factors in the development of bilingualism in Russian and National Languages we must be careful not to exaggerate or interpret in a one-sided manner the influence of any one factor, such as school and its language of instruction. It is methodologically more accurate to state that a given factor simply occurs among many other phenomena which each to some degree facilitate the development of the basic parameters of bilingualism.

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