Isolated learners from diverse language backgrounds in the mainstream primary classroom: A sociocultural perspective
Barnard, R. (2005). Isolated learners from diverse language backgrounds in the mainstream primary classroom: A sociocultural perspective. In S. May, M. Franken & R. Barnard (Eds.). LED 2003: 1st International Conference on Language, Education and Diversity, Refereed Conference Proceedings and Keynotes, The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, 26-29 November 2003 [CD-ROM]. Hamilton, New Zealand: Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, The University of Waikato.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/3225
This paper focuses on the linguistic and cultural (‘languaculture’, Agar, 1994) challenges faced by learners from diverse language backgrounds (DLB) in New Zealand schools. It describes the typical learning context in primary classrooms terms of interactional, instructional, and cognitive dimensions. It then presents vignettes of four DLB learners and explains their relative competence in terms of Cummin’s (1981) distinction between BICS and CALP (Basic Interactional Communication Skills and Cognitive-Academic Language Proficiency). It goes on to discuss the extent to which such proficiency is the result of linguistic and cultural distance, and how that distance might be bridged by applying key constructs from sociocultural theory, and the implementation of Individual Languaculture Plans for DLB learners. The paper concludes with discussing the issue of where responsibility lies for coping with the challenges face by DLB learners.
Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, The University of Waikato