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A reflection on the value of collaborating with colleagues on pedagogical approaches for supporting English language development in a Mandarin language context

Written by: Jess Gosling and Gillian Smith
4 min read
Jess Gosling and Gillian Smith, British Primary Section, Taipei European School, Taiwan Working in an English-medium international school in Taiwan, where many students are Mandarin speakers, presents an interesting phenomenon and demonstrates tensions between the community culture and language and the language of the school. Despite knowledge around the acquisition of language for second language learners, there is much that we do not know about the development of English for second language learners who attend schools that are, as Marlina (2013) describes, ‘monocultural-chauvinistic’ (p. 1) and use monolingual curriculums (Burr, 2018). In our context, 66 per cent of the school population has Mandarin as a home language. Many Mandarin-speaking students enter Reception experiencing ‘legitimate peripheral participation’ before progressing towards being able to participate vocally. Legitimate peripheral participation describes the process of an English language learner self-m

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References
  • Bligh C and Drury R (2015) Perspectives on the ‘silent period’ for emergent bilinguals in England. Journal of Research in Childhood Education 29: 259–274.
  • Burr EC (2018) Challenging the monolingual habitus of international school classrooms. The International Schools Journal 37(2): 77–84.
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  • Marlina R (2013) Globalisation, internationalisation, and language education: An academic program for global citizens. Multilingual Education 3(1): 1–21.
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