Bilingual education (i - DOC by 0N5A9q

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									  ‘Kaleidoscopic variety’: aspects of current research into bilingual
                          education in Wales

                         Bryn Jones & Gwyn Lewis


Bilingual education (i.e. Welsh and English) is large scale in Wales, having
enjoyed a rapid growth and unprecedented success in the second half of the
twentieth century. Alongside other countries where bilingual education
flourishes, Wales has a long and distinguished history of minority language
education and shares international leadership of bilingual education policies
and practices. By today, with an ever increasing number of pupils from non-
Welsh speaking (and non-English speaking) homes taking advantage of the
bilingual provision, bilingual education in the Wales of the twenty first century
– as in other minority language regions of Europe (e.g. the Basque Country) -
is a mix of heritage/maintenance language education and immersion
education.

Bilingual provision in the most Welsh-speaking areas is different from that in
the more anglicized areas. In predominantly English speaking areas,
designated bilingual schools offer early immersion in Welsh-medium
education, primarily for Anglophone children, whilst in the rural Welsh-
speaking heartland there are traditional or natural bilingual schools where
children are taught Welsh initially, and from the age of 7 onwards study
English, with both languages used as medium of instruction throughout
primary schooling (Jones and Martin Jones, 2004; García, 2009, 253).

That there is a ‘kaleidoscopic variety of bilingual educational practice’ (Baker,
1993) across Wales – with many schools and classrooms containing differing
balances of L1 minority and L2 majority children - means that a wide variety
of approaches are utilized by teachers. It also means that a well defined
policy and practice in language allocation is required (Lewis, 2006) with
decisions having to be taken about the use of both languages to deliver the
curriculum as teachers experiment with concurrent/contemporaneous use of
both languages within the same lesson period.

Following interviews/observations in 10 bilingual secondary schools and 20
feeder bilingual primary schools across Wales, this seminar will briefly discuss
the research in progress before going on to analyse emerging models of dual
language allocation across Wales. Specific reference will be made to
‘translanguaging’, an increasingly used methodology that nurtures a more
dynamic bilingualism in students where the input and output are deliberately
in different languages (Baker, 2000, 2003; García, 2009).

								
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