Thursday 1 December 2016

What are the benefits of early childhood bilingualism? Preston Library 1.30pm Monday

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From my experience of volunteering one hour per week, one-to-one, at teaching a Somali woman denied access to ESOL classes by way of 'No Recourse to Public Funds' status a few years ago, -- before 2010 General Election -- I'd say that there are clear disadvantages in denying parents access to ESOL classes. Her 4-year-old was clearly more adept at understanding what I said in their presence, and that would not have boded well for Government 'Prevent' strategy.

She had told me that her prime motivation in learning computing skills was to help monitor what her children were doing on-line; the Community Centre management's reason for referring the mother to my tuition was that I was a volunteer and access to such a voluntary service was one of the best means for her to access English language skills through that community centre. As a result, I could see that the 4-year-old lost some respect for parental authority on account of his much more advanced grasp of the English language.

By contrast, an Afghan woman I taught was much more able to understand the instructions I gave her and benefit from what I taught her of on-line searches. By way of an on-line search, we worked out together how she could download photos from her SmartPhone to her Facebook account and as a result she regained contact with a family diaspora she had thought she'd never be in contact with again. And I personally do not do Facebook.

Alan Wheatley