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Original Message
Author Catherine 
Topic Bilingualism in UK schools 
Date Entered 22/04/2003 11:49:24 
Message I am a student teacher and have just finished my first year teaching practise. I am currently writing an essay on bilingualism within UK schools.

Within the class I have been teaching approx 45% of the pupils were asian. All the children (at ages 7 & 8 ) appeared to get on very well and within RE classes we took the children to both a Mosque and a Church. The policy of the school was to take the struggling bilingual children from the rest of the class for their own literacy lessons with a specialist teacher, to improve their English language reading and writing skills. All children of the school were forbidden to speak anything but English.

At first I thought this was a good method, but since I began researching this topic I am having second thoughts. I wondered if any one could share with me their own opinions and educational experiences. For these children is it a case of joining them into one community, or is it taking away their own cultural and religious rights? I had noticed that when parents of the bilingual children came into school, these children got very embarrased about speaking their own languages, which is quite sad.

It would be really interesting to hear anyone elses views on whether children should have the opportunities to be taught academically in their own mother tongue.  
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