Bilingual education in disadvantaged neighbourhoods: the case of African immigrants' descendants in Portugal
Migration Seminar Series in the School of International Development within the Social Sciences, Faculty at the University of East Anglia
Students of PALOP (African Countries of Portuguese Official Language) origin have systematically shown weaker academic achievement in Portugal, when compared to students either of non-migrant origin or of other migrant backgrounds. This leads us to question the efficiency of educational policies, especially due to the similarities between languages, such as Portuguese and Cape Verdean Creole. In this context, the projects Bilingual Class and Multilingual School were implemented in two public schools of basic education (2008-2012), in a neighbourhood characterized by significant socioeconomic deprivation, coordinated by the Institute of Theoretical and Computational Linguistics (ILTEC). In addition to the teaching of (and in) Cape Verdean Creole and Portuguese, focus was given to the development of the students’ linguistic conscience and positive linguistic attitudes, which involved their families and the school community. Five years after the implementation of these projects, a new study now aims at evaluating the impact of an early bilingual education. Focusing on trying to understand young people’s sociolinguistic reality, we examine national education policies concerning linguistic diversity and the teaching of Portuguese as a second language, and look at how these relate to the impact of the Bilingual Class and Multilingual School projects. With an interdisciplinary approach (sociological and sociolinguistic), we aim to contribute to the acknowledgement of linguistic diversity in policy, and to an effective citizen-centred approach to such complexity.
Educational Policies,Language policies,Intergenerational Approach,Descendants of Cape-Verdean Immigrants,Socio-economic deprived territories
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