chapter  2
Bilingual pupils
Pages 5

This is likely to be the group of most concern to teachers. Whether they are from refugee, immigrant or minority group families, the home language is likely to have a low status or value in the new society. Children from these families will be subjected to strong pressure to learn the language of the majority community and will need to become competent in speaking, reading and writing for economic survival. They are also likely to be under pressure from their families not only to take advantage of better educational opportunities but also to retain their first language and culture. For the children from many Bangladeshi communities, for example, this often means learning standard Bengali and mosque Arabic, as well as learning English at school and retaining the spoken home language of Sylheti.