Some times we go to schools and they ask us quite rightly how will it improve our children’s learning. What they cannot believe once we talk them through how everything fits together is how reasonable the cost is as it allows all staff in the school to have access at home or at school 24/7. When compared to the £900 single pupil premium for primaries at £624 and secondary’s £1124 it is less than two pupils premium for the whole schools use making it great value for money. Schools using the whole package are finding that their children are developing academic language quicker thereby making them more confident when being entered for tests and exams.
The following article helps explain why the use of first language to gain second language acquisition helps. In the Fischer school in America and the area that it is affiliated to
the state mandates, once 20 or more non-English speaking students are present in a school, that school must provide education to them in their native language. Research indicates this makes them better learners later on, Johns said.
“Instruction in their native language (will give them) a solid basis for learning in their early years” and will narrow the achievement gap in middle and high school, he said. Students are assessed throughout the process so they can migrate out of the bilingual program as quickly as possible.
“Compliance with the law is not optional,” he said, citing case law from 1974 that determined students have a right to have material presented to them in their native language. Without that early on, students grades tend to “flat-line” in middle and high school, he said.
“The rate of progress slows tremendously, and research shows it sometimes receding,” he said. “That happens because students have enough social language that they can kind of keep pace, but the rigors of middle school are much more, and the need for instructional knowledge is much greater and they can’t keep up. This is often the early point in which children make the choice to drop out. They become more marginalized and separated from their peers … with dire consequences.”
“I think you’re going to see more bilingual (across the district). It’s a trend across the country. We’re becoming more and more diverse,” Pruneau said.