Language Awareness, Language Diversity and Migrant Languages in the Primary School

Authored by: Andrea S. Young

The Routledge Handbook of Language Awareness

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138937048
eBook ISBN: 9781315676494
Adobe ISBN:


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Eric Hawkins, in his seminal work, Awareness of Language: An Introduction (1987), underlined the failure of schools to help children whose family language was a non-standard dialect or language different from the language of schooling, and who consequently did not arrive at school already equipped with the appropriate tools for verbal learning required by the school process. Research indicated that this initial mismatch between home language and school language skills was being further exacerbated by difficulties engaging with literacy in the standard written language of schooling. The gap between those whose families used the standard linguistic variety favoured by the school system and those whose did not, instead of being reduced by the education process, was in fact widening as the children progressed through their schooling.

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