By Christine Bratt Paulston
An anthology of articles on ethnic bilingualism and bilingual schooling from a sociolinguistic standpoint. It covers theoretical paradigms (primarily structural-functionalism and team clash conception and the matter formulations in BE commonplace of the paradigms), sensible study technique and a few exemplificatory case reports.
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Extra resources for Sociolinguistic Perspectives on Bilingual Education
The first reason, I think, is a linguistic one. No one has really claimed that it is not easier and faster to teach children to read in their mother tongue; the immersion studies data are quite clear on that point, and it takes the immersion children three years of schooling to catch up with the mother tongue readers. The point here is that children can learn to read in an L2 and that they eventually will catch up. The second reason, I think, concerns the quality of the school program. The lack of control by the ethnic groups over access to goods and services inevitably results in less of a quality education program than those reserved for the children of the dominant group.
Subordinate groups who are indigenous at the time of contact, either through colonization as in the case of the American Indians or through annexation as in the case of the Chicanos in the US southwest, are unlikely to change rapidly. Migrant subordinate groups are the only groups likely to show rapid rates of mother tongue shift, as the recent migrant Finnish working-class population in Sweden illustrates in so rapid a shift that there is anecdotal evidence of difficulties of communication between parents and children.
Orientation; and the reactionary orientation. What a man is expected to do in his life will, in part, depend on whether he lives in a revolutionary, conservative, or reactionary society. 2. e. 'in conservative societies, schools prepare people not for sacrifice but for jobs' (R. G. Paulston, 1972: 478). Language skills in the official language must be seen as an aspect of technique, an aspect of preparation for jobs. The mother tongue, on the other hand, is an aspect of moral learning, reaffirming the solidarity and cultural uniqueness of the ethnic group, underscoring the need to teach the moral values of good and evil, right and wrong, the values of the old gods, in the language in which those values were originally transmitted.