chapter  1
Introduction
Pages 4

Much educational literature is still produced without any reference to the fact that Britain is increasingly a multicultural and multilingual society. There is little excuse for this as it can no longer be seen as merely an issue for inner city schools. Linguistic diversity is now a norm in British classrooms. Most teachers across the country can expect to have some experience of pupils whose first language is other than English. Because, on the whole, schools continue to reflect the middle-class monocultural, monolingual values of a majority society, pupils’ academic potential (or IQ) is still assessed in relation to these norms. Fortunately, larger numbers of minority language pupils, and a concern for educational inclusion to ensure equality of opportunity, have caused educators to re-examine some of these assessment practices and to acknowledge that they may be inappropriate for an increasing number of pupils.