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Language, identity and attainment of EAL students in schools in the East of England

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The demographic profile of schools in the East of England is changing and becoming increasingly multilingual. Schools in the region are learning to adapt to the diversity of the linguistic and cultural backgrounds of their students in the context of a national policy of decentralised educational planning and in the absence of a research-informed scale of language assessment. This paper will draw on evidence from a longitudinal study, funded by the Bell Foundation, focusing on assessment of the educational attainment of a sample of 22 newly arrived migrant-background secondary school students in two case study schools in England. It will outline key themes connecting language, identity and social integration underlying the pupils’ accounts of their experience. The talk will also consider evidence of features of spoken and written English as part of an investigation of change elicited in two rounds of semi-structured interview and written task completion separated by an interval of 12 months.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Linguistics Forum series.

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