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Young people who are self-aware of being multilingual and have good grades at school: Research

London [UK], January 15 (ANI): Recent research shows that multilingual adolescents tend to improve performance in a wide range of school subjects, whether or not they are actually fluent in other languages.

This study was published in “Journal of Language, Identity Education”.

This study of more than 800 students in the United Kingdom found a positive link between GCSE scores and “multilingual identity.” A reference to whether a student feels a personal connection to another language through knowledge and use.

Those who self-identified as multilingual usually outperformed their classmates not only in subjects such as French and Spanish, but also in non-linguistic subjects such as math, geography, and science. This was applied regardless of whether they actually spoke a second language fluently.

But perhaps surprisingly everything officially described as having “English as a Second Language” (EAL) at school, even though schools and governments use it as a multilingual alternative. Students did not consider themselves multilingual.

Correspondingly, these students did not necessarily perform better (or worse) than non-EAL students as a group of GCSEs.

The results may help students develop ideas that support their overall academic progress by encouraging students to identify languages ​​and evaluate different styles of communication. Shown.

Other recent studies have argued not only to study vocabulary and grammar, but also to broaden the scope of language lessons so that students explore the importance of language for their lives and its importance. increase.

However, this new study was the first to investigate the relationship between multilingual identity and achievement.

Dr. Dee Rutgers, Research Associate, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, said: Children, who are considered multilingual, may have a sort of “growth mindset” that influences broader achievements. “Dr. Linda Fisher, a leader in language education at the University of Cambridge, said: Helps children who think they can’t “can” recognize that we are all using different communication tools, and that learning a language is simply an addition to that scope. .. This can affect attitudes and self-beliefs. Learn at school. In other words, it may be more important to think that you are more important than others say. To a home language known or believed to be other than English. They suggested that even young people who consider themselves a single language have a “repertoire” of communication.

For example, you may use different dialects, pick up words and phrases on holidays, know sign language, or understand other types of “languages” such as computer codes.

The survey involved 818 11th grade students from five junior high schools in southeast England. In addition to verifying whether students are officially enrolled as EAL or non-EAL, researchers asked each student if they were personally identified as such.

Separately, each student was asked to plot where they saw themselves on a scale of 0 to 100. Where 0 stands for “single language” and 100 stands for “multilingual”. This data was compared to the GCSE results of 9 subjects.

Second language students at home were not always EAL or multilingual personally. Conversely, students who considered themselves multilingual were not necessarily students who designated the school as having English as an additional language.

“The fact that these terms weren’t more closely correlated is surprising given that they all seem to measure the same thing,” Rutgers said.

“Just having experience in another language does not necessarily translate into a multilingual identity, as that experience may not be appreciated by students,” Rutgers added.

EAL status reported at school did not affect GCSE results, but students who self-identified as EAL generally performed better than their modern language classmates. However, those who considered themselves “multilingual” on a scale of 0-100 showed excellent academic performance overall.

The strength of this relationship varied by subject and was especially noticeable in modern languages. However, in all nine GCSE subjects evaluated, an increase in points on a single-language to multilingual scale was associated with a slight increase in student exam scores.

For example, a 1 point increase was found to correspond to a science grade of 0.012 and a geography grade of 0.011. Students who consider themselves to be very multilingual will usually have a higher full-grade score on this scale than students who consider themselves to be a single language.

Therefore, proactively identifying multilingualism may be sufficient to take students slightly below a particular grade to the next level.

The findings seemed to show that the positive thinking and self-confidence that was generally developed among students with multilingual identities had a spillover effect on their broader education.

The authors added that this can be grown in a language classroom. For example, expose young people to learning programs that explore different types of languages ​​and dialects, and encourage them to think about how languages ​​shape their lives both inside and outside school.

“We often think of other languages ​​as something we don’t need to know or are difficult to learn,” Fisher said.

“These findings can really have a positive impact on their broader progress in school if students are encouraged to consider themselves as active and competent language learners. It suggests that, “she concludes. (ANI)

Young people who are self-aware of being multilingual and have good grades at school: Research

SourceYoung people who are self-aware of being multilingual and have good grades at school: Research

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