The Classroom Languages project looked at why teachers might not be reflecting linguistic and cultural diversity in their classrooms and as part of this, why they might not feel comfortable incorporating children’s home languages in their lessons.
The project identified several key areas that teachers reported to affect their willingness and confidence to do this:
- The status of English within schools and society and the pressure this puts on teachers and children alike
- Having little language experience and confidence to try out new languages
- Concern that they would alienate children who only speak English
- Having no access to quality resources to help
- Finding the time to fit this in an already full and demanding curriculum and within their own workload
- Feeling as though they can rely on the child to provide accurate information and have the skills to be able to fully engage with the activity
The project now aims to use these findings to support the development of tools and resources teachers can use in order to be able to inject some linguistic and cultural diversity into their classrooms.