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Language Issues and Educational Change

  • Jim Cummins
Chapter
Part of the Kluwer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 5)

Abstract

With cultural diversity comes linguistic diversity. This diversity has been created by growing rates of migration since the 1960s and by greater inter-cultural contact among nations as they try to resolve ecological and diplomatic problems together. In this chapter, Jim Cummins looks at the implications of linguistic diversity for educational change

Cummins asks what it means to provide education in a growing number of contexts which are not merely bilingual, but which serve students from many different linguistic backgrounds in classrooms and their schools. Bilingualism, linguistic immersion, heritage languages, second language learning, and transformations in the entire organization of teaching and learning to accommodate classroom populations of great diversity are among the issues that Cummins addresses.

The importance of these issues is pressed home with reference to research findings which indicate that when students lag behind in first language proficiency, they also lag behind in academic achievement and intelligence test scores despite their abilities in their own language. Failing to address the issue of linguistic diversity effectively leads to failure to capitalize on children’s academic potential. Cummins concludes with policy recommendations to address language issues as a focus for educational change, including changes in curriculum, teaching and learning, and the climate of the school.

Keywords

Language Policy Linguistic Diversity Educational Change Diverse Student Bilingual Education 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jim Cummins
    • 1
  1. 1.Ontario Institute for Studies in EducationUniversity of TorontoCanada

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