'Fluent' bilingual pupils struggle with writing

21st March 2003 at 00:00
PUPILS who have English as a second language need extra support long after they become fluent speakers, inspectors said this week.

The Office for Standards in Education reported that some schools had stopped providing special support for more advanced bilingual learners to give priority to the growing number of new arrivals who could not speak the language.

However, inspectors found that bilingual pupils who spoke English fluently could still struggle with their studies, even if they passed GCSE English.

One key stage 4 teacher told inspectors: "The mismatch between oral communication and writing ability is quite stark for some pupils."

Ofsted analysed test scores of pupils who spoke English as an additional language (EAL) and found that Somali, Kurdish and Turkish speakers performed considerably worse than others.

Ofsted also published separate research exploring the writing difficulties of EAL pupils, who make up a tenth of students in English schools.

It found that bilingual pupils tended to make the same kinds of grammar and spelling mistakes as native English speakers with below average GCSE English results.

The report also noted that Muslim pupils often had problems writing about their religion objectively.

A study of 36 religious education essays by Muslim students found that a quarter "used explanations that would be appropriate from a 'believer'

stance, but less appropriate from a subject discipline or 'pupil taking exam' stance".

"Writing in EAL at key stage 4 and post-16" and "More advanced learners of EAL in secondary schools and colleges" are at www.ofsted.gov.uk

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now